More on the Asia Bibi case

As I reported yesterday, taking my news from the HuffPo UK, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian falsely convicted of blasphemy and then freed after eight years on death row in solitary confinement, appeared to have been denied asylum in the UK. The denial was reportedly based on the possibility that Bibi’s presence in the UK would cause unrest from “certain sections of the community”—almost certainly Muslims.

I found that reprehensible, but added that the news needed confirmation. I have still not been able to confirm HuffPo UK’s report, which came from the British Pakistani Christian Association. And, as reader Michael Fisher pointed out, the entire report may be “bullshit”. I’m counting on the British press to investigate this story further, and will let you know what transpires.

In the meantime, though, there’s dire (and perhaps non-fake) news about Bibi from The Independent; Pakistan may not let her leave, which means she couldn’t get asylum anywhere:

Normally a request for asylum in the UK would need ro be made after fleeing Pakistan. However, Pakistan’s government has reached a deal with Islamists to restrict Ms Bibi’s travel while the case is reviewed.

Under the terms of the deal made on Friday night, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration said it would begin legal proceedings to place Asia Bibi on the “exit control list” (ECL).

It also agreed not to oppose a petition for a review of the Supreme Court decision to free the mother-of-five, who had been on death row since 2010.

In return the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party (TLP) issued an apology for any hurt caused during three days of nationwide protests and called for its supporters to disperse.

The TLP party was constituted explicitly to punish blasphemy in Pakistan, and promoted riots throughout the country after Bibi was freed. If the TLP made a deal with the government to issue a lame apology in return for what it really wants—Bibi’s continuing presence in the country, endangering her life—that’s just as bad as the UK denying her asylum. The outraged Islamists simply want the woman dead, even though the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned her conviction.

Stay tuned.

18 Comments

  1. Richard Sanderson
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Should be quite easy for the British government to clear up any confusion, by stating that they will offer Asia Bibi asylum….

    • Frank Bath
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      As a Brit I sincerely hope so to. Things aren’t that bad here. Otherwise I’m sure the press, as PCC hopes, will be all over it.

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      They won’t do that unless she formally applies for asylum here. The best you’ll get before that is a denial of the rumour that she has already been refused asylum.

    • Pray Hard
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I’m sure Sharia May will clear it right up, along with Jamal Corbyn.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It also agreed not to oppose a petition for a review of the Supreme Court decision to free the mother-of-five …

    Sounds analogous to a US administration capitulating not to oppose a rehearing of Obergefell v. Hodges had evangelicals rioted after the legalization of same-sex marriage. Government doesn’t get much more third-world and weak than that.

  3. Raghu Mani
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Minor complaint. In Hindi/Urdu, ‘Bibi’ is an honorific – more or less equivalent to ‘Mrs’. So saying ‘Mrs. Bibi’ is like saying ‘Mrs Mrs’ – doesn’t really make sense 😀. Sorry for being pedantic here but this is one of my pet peeves. FWIW, her full name as per Wikipedia is Asia Noreen.

    – HCE

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Appreciated!

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        That’s ike saying Mount Fujiyama.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Or Sahara desert.

    • Pray Hard
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Now we know and I can sleep tonight.

  4. FB
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    The TLP looks like 21st-century Inquisition (and it’s probably worse than the Spanish Inquisition).

  5. rickflick
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    This has the sound of a tragedy unfolding.

  6. Jonathan Dore
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be no legal sanction in Pakistan against people explicitly soliciting the murder of another person. Why is that?

    • Pray Hard
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      It’s an Islamic country. Any other questions?

  7. Brian
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    WTF…….my blood was boiling reading this. How I wish she and her husband could have asylum here in the states, I would take them in long term.

  8. Diane G
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    How is it that so many people can live with such a lack of human values…

    • Pray Hard
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      It’s called “Islam”.


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