Reports now say Christian Asia Bibi, who was falsely accused and imprisoned on death row for blasphemy against Islam but was eventually acquitted by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, is not being released by the Pakistan Government and is also barred from leaving the country, where if she stays it is almost certain a death sentence for her.
Although she was found innocent of the charges, the government of Pakistan, which is mostly Islamic, entered into talks with Islamic leaders after Islamists took to the streets holding rallies nationwide, threatening violence and to hang Bibi, and closing down schools, colleges, and shops.
Even though Bibi was acquitted after spending nearly a decade in prison, the government will not release her after authorities agreed to bar her from flying abroad following talks with Islamists who want her publicly hanged.
This agreement between the government and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party was made after Islamists have been rallying for days across the country essentially shutting down the country. In return, protests in major cities would cease, the government’s religious affairs minister said.
Also, the lawyer representing a provincial cleric in Punjab who had filed the initial blasphemy charges against Bibi, petitioned the Supreme Court requesting that the judges review her acquittal.
The court has not set a date to take up the petition and court reviews typically take years, meaning Bibi’s ordeal of persecution will continue until any review is completed.
She has already spent nine years in prison and most of that in solitary confinement. Just this week prison officials said two inmates were arrested last month for planning to strangle Bibi to death.
Bibi’s family had expected her release. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, returned from Britain with their children in mid-October and was waiting for her release so that they could fly out of Pakistan.
Please pray for Asia Bibi, a Christian who is long suffering continued persecution by Islam in Pakistan.
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