Pakistan Supreme Court rejects petition against Asia Bibi's acquittal

WION Web Team
Islamabad, PakistanUpdated: Jan 29, 2019, 03:43 PM IST

File photo. Photograph:(AFP)

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Asia Bibi, a Christian, had spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges

Pakistan's Supreme Court rejected a review petition challenging the acquittal of Asia Bibi in the blasphemy case.

"Based on merit, this review petition is dismissed," Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said while presiding over the three-judge panel.

Asia Bibi who is a Christian had spent eight years on death row after being convicted in 2010 on blasphemy charges but she got a reprieve last year as Pakistan's top court overturned the verdict.

Bibi's lawyer, Saif-ul-Malook, who fled to Europe due to fears for his safety last year had said earlier that he expected the case to be dismissed.  Saif-ul-Mulook had called the petition "frivolous" 

Bibi is widely expected to seek asylum abroad due to safety concerns, with reports claiming that Canada and Italy being the favourites to accept her.

"She should now be free to reunite with her family and seek safety in a country of her choice," Amnesty International said in a statement.

The Pakistani national was alleged to have made derogatory remarks against Islam. Her neighbours working in the fields objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not a Muslim. Asia denied ever committing blasphemy.

After she was acquitted last month, Leaders of the ultra-Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) and other parties had protested across the country calling for her death and pressured the government not to allow her to leave.

The TLP ultimately called off the protests after striking a deal with the government to put Bibi on an "exit control list" barring her from leaving the country.