Let's welcome Asia Bibi, a victim of blasphemy laws, to Canada — HASSAN

Bibi has been on death row since 2010 after being convicted of blasphemy against Islam

Bibi has been on death row since 2010 after being convicted of blasphemy against Islam

She was convicted by the trial court in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her neighbours. She had spent eight years seeking mercy from appeals courts while imprisoned on death row.

But the family said they feared for their safety and would likely have to leave Pakistan.

William Stark of International Christian Concern tells OneNewsNow he is in contact with Pakistani sources after the surprise announcement that Asia Bibi's release has been delayed by the country's Supreme Court. She immediately appealed. The Lahore High Court upheld the conviction in 2014, which she then appealed to the country's Supreme Court.

Ashiq Mesih (R) and Eisham Ashiq, the husband and daughter of Asia Bibi, speak during an interview with AFP in London on October 12, 2018. Even before the decision was announced, there were calls for violence against the three Supreme Court judges who oversaw her case.

"It seems that things are still boiling", he advises, "but it seems a bit under control by the government at the moment".

On Friday, the government suspended mobile phone signals in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore, in a bid to disrupt the TLP's attempts to organise massive protests around Friday prayers. He asked his supporters to continue sit-ins as authorities summoned paramilitary troops to restore order.

"We are ready to die to show our love for the prophet", he told an emotionally charged rally in Lahore.

That protest forced the resignation of the federal law minister and paved the way for the group to poll more than 2.23 million votes in the July 25 general election, in what analysts called a "surprisingly" rapid rise.

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The ultra-Islami TLP party earlier this month warned against any "concession or softness" for Bibi - who would have been the first woman to be executed for blasphemy.

Following the collapse of talks, the AP reported security was beefed up around the undisclosed detention facility where Bibi is being held.

Additionally, at least 65 people have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, including a 23-year-old student beaten to death on his university campus last year.

The case was based on flimsy evidence, they said, and proper procedures had not been followed.

But for now, Asia Bibi's nine-year legal ordeal appears to be over, though new problems, namely new threats against her life, now present themselves.

Bibi's husband Ashiq Masih has reached Pakistan along with his family from the United Kingdom to shift her overseas, The News reported quoting sources. Masih would not disclose the country of her destination but both France and Spain have offered asylum.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's new government should use this opportunity to amend and ultimately repeal a blasphemy law that has, too often, been used against Pakistan's most marginalized and most vulnerable. Police urged demonstrators to disperse peacefully. Not only that, the government has apparently chose to file a review against the Supreme Court's decision!

Asia Bibi, a mother of five from Punjab province, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to hang after she was accused of defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed during an argument in 2009 before with Muslim labourers.

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