Asia Bibi, a Pakistani-Christian woman, allegedly involved in Blasphemy case, after spending eight years on death row, has been freed from jail last night, her lawyer said Wednesday night. Some reports say Asia Bibi has boarded a plane but its destination was not known.
“She has been freed,” lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook said in a text message to AFP. “I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land.”Asia Bibi;s lawyer had already fled to the Netherlands on Saturday under threat to his life.
Civil aviation official, in Multan, said ‘a small plane arrived in the city with “a few foreigners and some Pakistanis” on board to fetch Bibi. On the other hand, three security officials told Reuters early Thursday that ” Bibi was released from the Multan prison. She was flown to the airport near Islamabad but was in protective custody because of threats to her life”, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity’.
“Asia Bibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place!” tweeted Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.
#AsiaBibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place! I thank the Pakistani authorities. I look forward meeting her and her family, in the European Parliament as soon as possible.— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) November 7, 2018
#AsiaBibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place! I thank the Pakistani authorities. I look forward meeting her and her family, in the European Parliament as soon as possible.
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) November 7, 2018
The Supreme Court last week acquitted Asia Bibi and announcing the judgment, the three-judge special bench ordered, “If Asia Bibi is not involved in any other case then she be released immediately.”
Earlier on October 8, court has reserved the verdict on Bibi’s appeal challenges the Lahore High Court’s October 2014 verdict of upholding a trial court’s November 2010 decision of sentencing Bibi to death for committing blasphemy. Asia Bibi, a Christian accused of blasphemy under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code for allegedly defaming Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), eight years ago, was awarded death penalty.
Accused made three “defamatory and sarcastic” statements about the Holy Prophet on June 14, 2009 during an argument with three Muslim women (She was asked to fetch water, but the Muslim women objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she was unfit to touch the water bowl)., while the four of them were picking fruit in a field in Sheikhupura. The women later went to a local cleric and accused Bibi of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet. Bibi was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 and has been in jail ever since.
After the supreme court’s verdict of Asia Bibi’s acquittal, countrywide protests were erupted during last week, resulting in damage of public properties, vandalism and roads blockage. Educational institutes were also closed following protest. An agreement was signed between Pakistan government and protesters, to end sit-in.
An order for her release arrived Wednesday at the jail in Multan where she was held, a prison official told AFP.
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20 February, 2019