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Aasia Bibi’s family fears for safety if court sets her free

Updated October 14, 2018

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Asia Bibi with her family — File
Asia Bibi with her family — File

LONDON: The family of Aasia Bibi, a Christian mother who faces the prospects of becoming the first person to be executed for blasphemy in the country, said they hoped the Supreme Court would free her.

But in any case they feared for their future living in Pakistan under the blasphemy laws, they told AFP.

Bibi, who has been on death row since 2010, is at the centre of the high-profile case that has divided Pakistan and drawn prayers from the Vatican.

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard her last appeal and said it had reached a judgement, which it has yet to reveal.

“We are hopeful that whatever the court proceedings are it will come out as positive for us,” her husband Ashiq Masih said.

Her daughter Eisham Ashiq added: “I will be very happy the day my mother will be released. I will hug her and will cry meeting her and will thank God that he has got her released.”

Bibi’s family are in London on a visit organised by Aid to the Church in Need, a charity.

But her family said that if Bibi is released, it would be difficult to stay in her homeland.

“Pakistan is ours: we were born there, raised there,” Masih said.

“The only tension we have is the blasphemy law. Aasia Bibi, after her release, can’t stay there in the presence of this law. Living in Pakistan for us is very difficult. We don’t go out of our home and if we go, we come out very carefully. Life in Pakistan for us is very difficult,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2018