Aasia Bibi remains in jail in Pakistan after Imran Khan’s government bowed to threats of civil unrest, agreeing a deal with Islamic hardliners to end nationwide street protests following her acquittal.
Under the deal agreeingwith the anti-“blasphemy” Tehreek-e-Labbaik party which encouraged the protests, authorities will ban Aasia from leaving the country and have agreed to release all protestors detained by police during last week’s street demonstrations. In exchange, Tehreek-e-Labbaik leaders ordered protestors to disperse.
The government also agreed not to oppose potential efforts to “appeal” the Supreme Court’s verdict, although there is no known legal precedent or mechanism for a Supreme Court Judgement being reviewed in Pakistan.
Aasia’s lawyer, Saif-ul-Mulook, left Pakistan last week after receiving death threats, telling journalists "I need to stay alive as I still have to fight the legal battle for Asia Bibi."
“The agreement has sent a shiver down my spine,” Aasia’s husband said. In a video message, he appealed directly to the UK government: “I am requesting the prime minister of the UK help us and as far as possible grant us freedom.” He also stated, "The current situation is very dangerous for us. We have no security and are hiding here and there, frequently changing our location."