Asia Bibi a Free Woman

The Paskitani Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 31, that Asia Bibi has been freed from jail after spending more than eight years in death row.

Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to death.

The conviction resulted from an argument Bibi had with a group of women in June 2009 while harvesting fruits. The women accused her of making offensive comments about Islam and “being impure by virtue of her faith”.

The Supreme Court stated in their decision that her accusers had failed to prove her guilt and that the case was based on unreliable evidence.

After news broke out about her release, Pakistan’s religious right party, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), have come out to protest against the acquittal and has demanded Bibi be hanged in protest banners.

Supporters of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a hard-line religious political party, chant slogans during a protest on Wednesday against the court decision to overturn the conviction of Asia Bibi. Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Currently, foreign ministry spokesman of Pakistan, Mohammad Faisal, stated that Bibi has been flown to a “safe place” in Pakistan to secure her safety.

On Thursday, Bibi’s lawyer, Saiful Mulook, told CNN that Bibi, her husband, and her two daughters had filed for asylum in The Netherlands. However, Bibi and her family are still in imminent danger of being killed amongst violent anger from extremist parties in Pakistan.

As hostility towards Bibi’s case grows in a country that has a history of intolerance towards blasphemy, Bibi’s acquittal was a groundbreaking judgment considering the contentious blasphemy laws of Pakistan. This judgment came as a celebration for human rights activists and liberal Pakistanis.

Tenzin Kyisarh is the Communications Manager for Women’s March Global.