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Pakistan Releases Christian Woman Acquitted of Blasphemy


FILE - Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi is seen after a meeting with the governor of the Punjab Province at a jail in Sheikhupura, Pakistan.

Pakistan has released a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, from a prison in the city of Multan, following her acquittal on charges of blasphemy.

Pakistani officials said she left the prison facility Wednesday and was flown to an undisclosed location. Officials say her whereabouts are being kept secret because of threats on her life.

Her attorney, Saif-ul-Malook, who has fled to the Netherlands, confirmed her release but said he did not know her location.

In a landmark ruling October 31, Pakistan's Supreme Court overturned her 2010 conviction for insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The acquittal sparked three days of widespread protests by Islamists, who demanded that Bibi's death sentence be reinstated. Members of the militant Islamist group Tehreek e-Labbaik ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) blocked main roads in Pakistan's largest cites and called for the deaths of the Supreme Court judges who acquitted Bibi.

Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, told VOA last week the family has requested asylum in Spain and France, and is waiting for a response.

Bibi's family said she is innocent of the charges.

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