MADRID: The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) appealed to Spain on Thursday to help free her and grant her asylum.
Ashiq Masih met with Spain's junior foreign minister Gonzalo de Benito in Madrid and spoke to journalists afterwards alongside Masih's daughter Sidra, 19, one of his and Asia Bibi's five children.
“We are very happy and have great faith that this country will help free my wife,” Masih said via an interpreter.
He said the family had received threats since Bibi was sentenced to death in November 2010 after women claimed she insulted the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Bibi is currently in jail pending an appeal.
“She is protected in prison and they are treating her well, but she is having a hard time because she is very far from her family and is suffering psychologically,” Masih said.
“We live in hiding in Pakistan and we are very afraid. They say we have blasphemed against Mohammed (PBUH) and that they are going to kill us,” he added.
Masih appeared alongside representatives of Hazte Oir, a right-wing Spanish Catholic campaign group which organised his visit.
The group's president Ignacio Arsuaga added that the ministry said “it is quite prepared to grant asylum as soon as Asia Bibi herself requests it” and was always willing to help in her defence. Bibi's sentencing in 2010 sparked an international outcry.