Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, has spent the last eight years of her life on death row in Pakistan after being accused of blasphemy.

Pakistan flag

Last week, she was finally acquitted of the crime and the nation’s highest court ordered her release, but she remained in prison for over a week.

Her release from prison has now been confirmed, but she remains at risk whilst in Pakistan. Reports surfaced that she had flown out of the country, but the foreign office has quashed these rumours.

Blasphemy is a very serious charge in Pakistan, and even unsubstantiated allegations can lead to civil unrest, sometimes ending in attacks and even the murder of the accused.

Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, appealed to the UK government, among others, to grant the whole family asylum. Her family are in hiding, fearing attack after violent protests by a conservative group followed her acquittal. Such is their fear that they dare not leave the house to find food to eat.

Whilst Asia Bibi has officially been acquitted, there are calls for a review of the decision, as well as to add her name to a list which would prevent her from leaving the country.

The British Pakistani Christian Association has begun a petition asking Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, to grant the whole family asylum.

Sign the petition  Pray for Pakistan

 

Article first published on 7/11/18, last updated on 9/11/18