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Pakistan's blasphemy case: Asia Bibi flew out of the country

Media playback is not supported on your device Mediaskrift Asia Bibis escaped from Pakistan's death row A Pakistani Christian woman…

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Mediaskrift Asia Bibis escaped from Pakistan’s death row

A Pakistani Christian woman fired by blasphemy escapes from the country after being released from prison, her lawyer says.

Asia Bibi spent eight years in a row before her conviction became angry last month.

The Supreme Court triggered protests from Islamists and the government had said it would prevent her from leaving Pakistan.

Her husband had said they were in danger and asked for asylum.

Her lawyer Saif ul Malook said she escaped from Pakistan with her closest family but he did not know where they were going.

Asia Bibi had previously been released from prison in the city of Multan.

Also known as Asia Noreen, she was sentenced in 201

0 to insult the Prophet Muhammad in a row with neighbors.

Several countries have offered their asylum.

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EPA

Image texts

Asia Bible liberation drives protests by Islamists

The Pakistani government had previously said that it would initiate legal proceedings to prevent her from going abroad after agreeing the measure to end the violent protests.

What was Asia Bibi accused of?

The trial derives from an argument that Asia Bibi had with a group of women in June 2009.

They harvested fruit when a row broke out about a bucket of water. The women said that because she had used a cup, they could no longer touch it because her belief had made it unclean.

Prosecutors claimed that in the line that followed, the women called Asia Bibi to convert to Islam and that she made offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad in response.

She was later slaughtered in her home, where her prosecutor says she acknowledged blasphemy. She was arrested after a police investigation.

The Court of First Instance said that the case was based on unreliable evidence and her confession was delivered in front of a crowd threatening to kill her.

Why is this case so fragmented?

Islam is Pakistan’s national religion and is based on its legal system. Public support for strict blasphemy laws is strong.

Hard politicians have often encountered severe punishment, partly as a way to strengthen their support base.

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But critics say the laws have often been used to enforce revenge after personal disputes, and the verdict is based on thin evidence.

Most convicted are Muslims or members of the Ahmadi community, but since the 1990s many Christians have been convicted. They represent only 1.6% of the population.

The Christian community has been targeted at many attacks in recent years, which makes many feel vulnerable to an intolerance climate.

Since 1990, at least 65 people have been killed in Pakistan for allegations of blasphemy.

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