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Fri Feb 28, 2020, 09:56 PM

Asia Bibi: Pakistani woman jailed for blasphemy claims asylum in France

Source: The Guardian

Asia Bibi: Pakistani woman jailed for blasphemy claims asylum in France

Emmanuel Macron invites Christian who spent eight years on death row to live in country

Jon Henley in Paris
Fri 28 Feb 2020 20.33 GMT
Last modified on Fri 28 Feb 2020 21.06 GMT

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges, has filed an initial application for asylum in France and been invited to live in the country by Emmanuel Macron.

But speaking after a meeting with the French president in the Elysée palace on Friday, Bibi said she had not decided where she would settle. She was acquitted last year and granted a one-year leave of stay with her family in Canada.

“I need time to think,” Bibi said. “Canada has been good to me. France has been very good to me – and France has given me a name. But for the time being I need to concentrate on my health, my family and my children’s education.”

Bibi’s case outraged Christians around the world and fanned divisions inside mainly Muslim Pakistan. The former farm worker was sentenced to death in 2010 after Muslim labourers working with her in the fields refused to share their water because she was Christian.

An argument broke out and one woman went to a local cleric to accuse Bibi of committing blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad. Two Pakistani politicians were later killed for publicly supporting her and criticising the country’s draconian blasphemy laws.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/asia-bibi-pakistani-woman-jailed-for-blasphemy-claims-asylum-in-france

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