Asylum application filed in Netherlands for Asiya Bibi

Islamabad: An asylum application has been filed in the Netherlands for Asiya Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who was acquitted in a blasphemy case by the country’s Supreme Court last month.

Asiya’s lawyer, Saif-ul-Mulook, who himself fled from Pakistan to the Netherlands, earlier this week told CNN that the application, filed for Asiya, her husband and their two children, has been submitted to the authorities.

The lawyer had fled to the European nation following threats to his life.

Asiya was released from a women’s prison in Multan late on Wednesday after the completion of all formalities by the jail administration, Geo News reported. However, speculations had emerged that she had left the country soon after being released from prison.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Thursday dispelled the rumours, clarifying that Asiya is still in Pakistan.

On October 31, mass protests had erupted in various parts of Pakistan after the country’s top court acquitted Asiya of blasphemy charges. The demonstrations were later called off when the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had reached an agreement on not allowing Asiya to leave the country.

A three-judge special bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and also comprising of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, had heard Asiya’s 2014 appeal against her conviction and death sentence and overturned the ruling in favour of her.

Asiya was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly insulting Islam during an argument with three Muslim women.