Christian mom jailed for 'blaspheming' Mohammed has death penalty overturned


The court ordered authorities to free Asia Bibi, 47, who has been on death row since 2010 accused of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has attacked hardliners and appealed for calm after the acquittal of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy.

The workers had refused to drink from a bucket of water Asia Bibi had touched because she was not Muslim.

This historic decision has acquitted Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges after spending 9 years in jail.

Insulting Muhammad is a risky business these days.

Since Wednesday's verdict, the TLP has been holding sit-ins in cities across the country with supporters blocking major traffic thoroughfares, causing gridlock and school closures in key hubs like Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi.

According to the female commando, who asked to remain unidentified as she was not authorized to speak to media, Bibi upon hearing news of her release said the judges gave her a new life and she was grateful to them.

"This is a landmark verdict", said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director for Amnesty International.

"While this is a day of victory and celebration for Asia Bibi, her family, and all those who have relentlessly prayed for her, Asia and Christians in Pakistan need continued prayers", the ACLJ's Jordan Sekulow said, calling for the Pakistani government to provide Bibi with security and safe passage to someplace safer.

For more than four years, the ACLJ has relentlessly fought for Asia Bibi's freedom, engaging in a multi-pronged legal advocacy campaign across the globe.

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In a statement before Wednesday's ruling the party said: "If there is any attempt to hand her over to a foreign country, there will be awful consequences".

Several mainstream religious parties also held separate demonstrations in major cities following prayers, with thousands of demonstrators converging near government offices in the capital Islamabad.

The women went to a local cleric and accused Ms Bibi of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, a charge punishable by death under colonial-era legislation. We have no link with the case (of Bibi) but we want that justice should prevail.

Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan has called for calm and said hard-line Islamists were "inciting" people for their "own political gain".

Since then, Islamists have blocked roads and set fire to vehicles in order to put pressure on the government to stop her release from prison.

The woman told her she should convert to Islam and "redeem herself". He had called for her to be pardoned and for the blasphemy laws to be overhauled. He would not disclose the country of Ms. Bibi's destination but both France and Spain have offered her asylum.

Bibi's case has attracted widespread outrage and support from Christians worldwide and condemnation from conservative Islamist groups in Pakistan, who have demanded the death penalty for her.

He condemned the Islamists after cleric Afzal Qadri urged supporters to kill the three judges who acquitted Ms Bibi, revolt against army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and overthrow Mr Khan's government. "They are using language that enemies use. only for their self serving politics", he said.

Noting that many Muslims are also victims of the blasphemy laws, Fr. Yousaf said that the verdict is beneficial for all the citizens of Pakistan, irrespective of whether they are Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh or of other faiths.