More on the Asia Bibi case

More on the Asia Bibi case As I reported yesterday, taking my news from the HuffPo UK, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian falsely convicted of blasphemy and then freed after eight years on death row in solitary confinement, appeared to have been denied asylum in the UK. The denial was reportedly based on the possibility that…

More on the Asia Bibi case


More on the Asia Bibi case

As I reported yesterday, taking my news from the HuffPo UK, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian falsely convicted of blasphemy and then freed after eight years on death row in solitary confinement, appeared to have been denied asylum in the UK. The denial was reportedly based on the possibility that Bibi’s presence in the UK would cause unrest from “certain sections of the community”—almost certainly Muslims.

I found that reprehensible, but added that the news needed confirmation. I have still not been able to confirm HuffPo UK’s report, which came from the British Pakistani Christian Association. And,as reader Michael Fisher pointed out, the entire report may be “bullshit”. I’m counting on the British press to investigate this story further, and will let you know what transpires.

In the meantime, though, there’s dire (and perhaps non-fake) news about Bibifrom The Independent; Pakistan may not let her leave, which means she couldn’t get asylum anywhere:

Normally a request for asylum in the UK would need ro be made after fleeing Pakistan. However, Pakistan’s government has reached a deal with Islamists to restrict Ms Bibi’s travel while the case is reviewed.

Under the terms of the deal made on Friday night, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration said it would begin legal proceedings to place Asia Bibi on the “exit control list” (ECL).

It also agreed not to oppose a petition for a review of the Supreme Court decision to free the mother-of-five, who had been on death row since 2010.

In return the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party (TLP) issued an apology for any hurt caused during three days of nationwide protests and called for its supporters to disperse.

The TLP party was constituted explicitly to punish blasphemy in Pakistan, and promoted riots throughout the country after Bibi was freed. If the TLP made a deal with the government to issue a lame apology in return for what it really wants—Bibi’s continuing presence in the country, endangering her life—that’s just as bad as the UK denying her asylum. The outraged Islamists simply want the woman dead, even though the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned her conviction.

Stay tuned.

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