After eight years of being on death row, Aasia Bibi was acquitted by the Supreme Court in October 2017. But even after being declared innocent, Aasia remained a hostage in Pakistan as the Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labaik declared nationwide protests and issued death threats to not only Aasia’s lawyer but also the judges who made the landmark ruling.
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, heard a petition against the previous ruling on Aasia Bibi’s case filed by Qari Salaam, a prayer leader of a mosque in Nankana Sahib. While Aasia Bibi denies ever committing blasphemy and the court also found her to be innocent, the far-right party TLP and its followers were unsatisfied with the verdict issued in October; the party held nationwide protest and demanded that the verdict be overturned. However, the Chief Justice saw no merit in the petitioners plea, and effectively dismissed the case.
Sailul Malook, Aasia Bibi’s lawyer who had to flee the country due to death threats is now back in Islamabad and has declared this ruling a great victory. Unknown sources have confirmed that Aasia Bibi’s two daughters have already been granted asylum in Canada. Aasia has been granted permission by the court to leave Pakistan and her current location is being kept a secret for her protection.
Although TLP has called for violence, most of their leaders including Khadim Rizvi still remain imprisoned.
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