Saturday 21 September 2019

Christian in blasphemy case not allowed to leave

 

The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi pose with an image of their mother while standing outside their residence in Pakistan's Punjab Province. Photo: Reuters
The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi pose with an image of their mother while standing outside their residence in Pakistan's Punjab Province. Photo: Reuters

Ben Farmer

A Christian woman spared the death penalty after her blasphemy conviction was overturned faces being barred from leaving Pakistan under a deal struck to appease hardliners.

Pakistan's government said last night it had reached an agreement with Islamist parties to end three days of protests that have paralysed the country after Asia Bibi was freed.

The deal included a government concession to begin court proceedings to put Ms Bibi on the country's no-fly list. Pakistan's government told the BBC it would be up to the court to decide, but the sop to extremists is likely to anger rights groups and Western countries that have been pushing for her freedom.

A ban would dash her hopes of leaving the country and starting a new life abroad after she spent nearly eight years on death row when falsely accused of defaming the Prophet Mohammed.

Under the deal, Imran Khan's government will also not oppose an application for a review of the supreme court decision that freed the mother of five on Wednesday. Reviews have in the past taken years.

The plight of the Catholic farmhand caused outcry among Christian groups and her case was taken up by the Pope. Her release had been widely celebrated by human rights groups, but it triggered widespread protests from extremist religious parties, who blocked main roads and brought the country to a standstill. Extremists had called for the deaths of the judges who freed her. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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