Persecuted Christian mother Asia Bibi has joined her husband and children in Canada, months after her acquittal of false blasphemy charges and her release from Pakistan’s death row.
Bibi’s attorney Saif-ul-Malook told several news outlets of her safe arrival in Ottawa within the past two days, first reported today (May 8).
“It’s a big day,” the Guardian quoted Malook as saying. “Justice has been dispensed.” Pakistani authorities had secured Bibi in secret since her October 2018 acquittal and subsequent January victory against an appeal by her accusers. Radical Muslim mobs had rioted for her death and have threatened to kill her.
The 54-year-old Catholic mother of five is not well, having suffered depression from her ordeal of nearly a decade, Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, told the Telegraph.
“She must be treated with utmost care and receive appropriate medical care now she is free,” Chowdhry said, according to the Telegraph.
Bibi’s husband Ashiq “has always remained hopeful of an imminent release from Pakistan,” Chowdhry said, “and we have both been shocked at how long it has taken.”
Bibi was released while other Christians are still sentenced to death in Pakistan on blasphemy allegations. Many countries have pledged with the U.S. to fight internationally for the freedom of those imprisoned.
As recently as Feb. 13, Open Doors USA told of Christian brothers Qasir and Amoon Ayub, sentenced to death in Pakistan in a blasphemy case dating to 2010. A coworker accused them after a statement was allegedly made insulting the worker’s sister, Open Doors said, and the Ayub brothers eventually were convicted by a judge who said they were guilty of insulting the “Holy Prophet” “beyond [a] shadow of reasonable doubt.”
In Bibi’s case, she was sentenced to death by hanging in 2010 on charges of insulting the prophet Muhammad while working in a field as a day laborer in 2009. When Bibi offered a coworker a cup of water, the woman said Bibi’s Christianity made the water ceremonially unclean. This set off a chain of false accusations related to Bibi’s beliefs and backed by Muslim clerics. Bibi refused to convert to Islam.
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Source: Baptist Press