Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who was freed from death row in a high-profile blasphemy case has quietly left the country and reunited with her family in Canada. Aasia Bibi, 53, flew out of Pakistan after being held for months in protective custody by Pakistani authorities following her acquittal, her lawyer told international media.
Bibi, a mother of four from Punjab province, was taken out of the country after repeated death threats from religious extremists, following the quashing of her conviction for blasphemy last year.
The Pakistani Supreme Court’s quashing of her sentence led to violent protests by religious hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws, while more liberal sections of society urged her release.
Bibi spent eight years on death row after her arrest in the central village of Ithan Wali after an argument with two Muslim women who refused to drink water from the same vessel as her, due to her religion.
The women and a local cleric accused Bibi of having insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad during the altercation, a charge that she has consistently denied.