The case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 12.11.2018
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The case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani-Christian, was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010, spent over eight years in jail and was recently acquitted. Now Islamists in Pakistan want her dead. Follow DW's latest coverage right here.

Pakistani-Christian woman Asia Bibi was acquitted by Pakistan's Supreme Court and released from jail on Wednesday November 8. Bibi's is one of the most high-profile blasphemy cases in Pakistan, with international rights groups and Western governments demanding a fair trial in her case. In 2015, Bibi's daughter met with Pope Francis, who offered prayers for her mother at the Vatican. 

The case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who was acquitted in a blasphemy trial on October 31 has not only made international headlines, it has also put a spotlight on Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws.

Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been in place since the 1980s. Critics argue the legislation is being misused by the authorities as a tool to take revenge or arbitrary actions. But they are also used to settle political or economic disputes, and to eliminate or put pressure on unpopular individuals and minorities, they claim. All previous attempts to reform them have failed due to resistance from the conservative politicians and religious hardliners.

Bibi's case has divided Pakistan. She was sentenced to death after allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammed to neighbors. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling, sparking mass protests throughout the country by people who want to see her publicly hanged.

Two politicians have already been killed for taking up her case.

Pakistan's government struck a deal with Islamist protesters to allow a review of the decision to go forward and to block Bibi from leaving the country. Bibi is reportedly still in Pakistan, but her safety there is far from certain. 

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