Reports of Asiya Bibi leaving Pakistan 'false, baseless'

Asia Bibi on death row since 2010 after a blasphemy charge was acquitted by the Supreme Court on Wednesday and ordered set free triggering protests by ultra-conservative Islamists who paralysed Pakistan for three days

Attorney Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi Seeking Asylum in Netherlands British Pakistani Christian Association AFP Handout 9 Nov 2018

A group of politicians and campaigners have written to the UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, urging him to grant asylum to Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted in a blasphemy case.

"There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don't want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country", he told AFP in an interview on Monday while in Paris for a conference.

Since her release, Bibi and her family have faced threats and her husband has pleaded with countries in the West to relocate them.

However, the government signed an agreement with the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan protesters and pledged to take steps to stop Bibi from travelling overseas.

"That is why we are asking the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, to intercede as soon as possible so that this Christian woman and her family can leave, and that the necessary security measures will be taken to keep them alive".

Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper reported, however, that the Netherlands shut down visas services "as the government released footage of the rioters torching vehicles, blocking roads and vandalizing public and private property following apex court verdict on Aasia Bibi's acquittal".

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Mother-of-five Asia Bibi, 53, is in hiding after Pakistan's supreme court acquitted her almost two weeks ago.

Insulting Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere rumor of blasphemy can lead to lynchings by mobs.

Bibi's conviction stemmed from a 2009 incident when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.

Bibi was put on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan nearly ten years ago, following allegations by Muslim women she worked with that she insulted Prophet Mohammed.

Mrs Bibi was sentenced to die in 2010 after being accused of blaspheming Mohammed in a row with farm coworkers. The supreme court judges ruled that the accusations against her... For now, it's unclear when the review will be held or who would defend Bibi since her lawyer Saiful Malook fled the country following her acquittal, fearing for his life.

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