Asia Bibi released, shifted to unknown country: FO says she is in Pakistan yet

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ISLAMABAD/ MULTAN (ENN) Pakistan’s Foreign Office here on Thursday rejected news reports that Asia Bibi, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court, last week in a blasphemy case, has left the country after BBC reported that she has left country.

 

Dr Muhammad Faisal, Foreign Office spokesperson claimed that Asia Bibi is in Pakistan; however he confirmed, she has been released from Multan prison during weekly briefing here at foreign office.

 

He claimed that there is no truth in reports that Asia Bibi has left the country.

 

The FO spokesperson’s statement came in response to reports that Bibi had left the country following her release from a prison in Multan on Wednesday night.

 

“She has been freed,” lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook said in a text message to an international news agency last night. “I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land.”

 

The mother of five was headed for an unknown destination, her lawyer had further said.

 

“Asia Bibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place!” tweeted Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.

 

Earlier, a 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.

 

Bibi’s release came a week after her acquittal in a landmark case that triggered angry protests in the country and following appeals from her husband, Ashiq Masih, for Britain or the United States to grant the family asylum.

 

 

Allegations against Bibi, 53, dated back to June 2009 when she was labouring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women who had alleged that she committed blasphemy.

 

Bibi was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010 despite her advocates maintaining her innocence and insisting the accusers held grudges against her.

 

Bibi’s conviction was overturned by the country’s highest court on October 31 but she had remained in prison as the government negotiated with protesters from religious groups — led by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) — who blockaded major cities and demanded her immediate execution.

TLP call off protests after “deal” with government. 

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