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Pakistan: Asia Bibi's husband seeks asylum for his family

Pakistan: Asia Bibi's husband seeks asylum for his family
DGPR Punjab / AFP / Archives
/ Handout

Asia Bibi's husband seeks asylum for her family in the United States, Britain or Canada while the fate of the Pakistani woman, acquitted this week after being sentenced to death for blasphemy, remains very uncertain in her country.

"I ask President Donald Trump to help us leave, and after that I ask the British Prime Minister (Theresa May) to do her best to help us," said Ashiq Masih in a video message seen by AFP. . The husband of Asia Bibi also solicited the "http://www.lepoint.fr/" help” from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"The family is seeking asylum in the United States, Great Britain and Canada," Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the Pakistan Christian Association of Great Britain, who helps Asia Bibi, told AFP on Sunday. his family for years.

"These countries have the largest Pakistani Christian communities” and they speak English, a language that Asia Bibi's girls learn, but she and her husband do not speak, he explained.

In the video, Ashiq Masih also claims asylum for Joseph Nadeem, who has been sheltering his family since the death sentence of his wife for blasphemy in 2010.

"If Asia Bibi leaves the country, every member of her family, every person associated with her, will be killed," worried Wilson Chowdhry, who estimates "less than twenty” the number of people to be granted asylum in this case.

Prior to his departure from Pakistan, the release of the Christian, which seemed acquired after his acquittal Wednesday by the Supreme Court, however, seems uncertain.

The government signed a controversial agreement Friday night with Islamist protesters who paralyzed the country for three days. In particular, he pledged to launch a procedure to prohibit Asia Bibi from leaving the country and not to block a petition to review the acquittal judgment initiated by a religious.

"Family totally broken"

Asia Bibi, although freed by justice, remains imprisoned in Multan (center).

"Her daughters are crying, they still have not seen their mother, the family is totally broken, their initial hope has turned into anguish," said Wilson Chowdhry.

On Saturday, Ashiq Masih asked the authorities to "strengthen security” of his wife "in prison", criticizing the agreement signed by the government.

The same day, the lawyer of the Christian, Saif ul-Mulook, had announced to AFP his departure from Pakistan, where the issue of blasphemy is very sensitive.

In 2011, a Christian minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, who opposed the blasphemy law, was assassinated in Islamabad. A few months later, a former governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was shot dead for the same reason by one of his bodyguards. In 2014, a Pakistani lawyer defending a university professor accused of violating the Prophet Muhammad was also killed.

"I need to stay alive because I have to continue the legal battle for Asia Bibi," commented Mr. Mulook, who was not granted any close protection after the verdict in favor of his client.

If he expected the violent reaction of the extremists, who blocked all major axes of the country and called for the murder of Supreme Court judges and mutinies in the army, "what is painful is the government's response, had regretted the sexagenarian.They can not even (make) apply a judgment of the highest court of the country.

On Sunday, the Pakistan Human Rights Commission said it was "dismayed” by the "http://www.lepoint.fr/" government's inability to protect the state and the sanctity of the law ", describing the agreement signed with the Islamists as" masquerade” after the "historic" judgment” of the Supreme Court.

"No one should have the mistaken impression that the state turns a blind eye to the behavior” extremists, warned the Minister of Information, Fawad Chaudhry. "The state will not ignore the rebellion," he thundered in front of the press.

Twelve people were arrested during this week's protests, Hamza Shafqaat, an administrative officer in Islamabad, said on Twitter. Some 500 people are wanted, he said.

jf-sjd / sg

04/11/2018 16:35:55 ​​-
Islamabad (AFP) –
© 2018 AFP


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