Pakistan/The Netherlands/UK: Blasphemy lawyer flees after Pakistan capitulates to extremists

November 5, 2018

An extremist in Islamabad demands death for Asia Bibi. Picture: AFP

The lawyer for a Christian woman cleared of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistan has fled the country and her husband has asked Britain, the US and Canada to grant the family asylum.

Saif-ul-Mulook feared for his safety after the Supreme Court ­acquittal of Asia Bibi on Wednesday infuriated hardline Islamists, who held nationwide protests demanding her execution.

“In the current scenario, it’s not possible for me to live in Pakistan,” the 62-year-old lawyer said before boarding a plane to Europe on Saturday. “I need to stay alive as I still have to fight the legal battle for Asia Bibi.”

Ms Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, called for Britain to grant the mother and their family refuge amid fears for their safety.

In a video, he says: “I am requesting the Prime Minister of the UK help us and as far as possible grant us freedom.”

Speaking in Punjabi, he also called for asylum from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump.

The lawyer said the Islamist outcry was “unfortunate but not unexpected”. “What’s painful is the response of the government. They cannot even implement an order of the country’s highest court,” he said, adding that “the struggle for justice must continue”.

Dawn, the country’s oldest newspaper, in an editorial on Saturday blasted the deal as “another surrender”. “Yet another government has capitulated to violent ­religious extremists who neither believe in democracy, nor the constitution,” it read.

Mr Mulook said last week that he would have to leave Pakistan because the followers of hardline cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi had threatened to kill him as well as the judges who acquitted Ms Bibi. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (NEDERLANDS) (VLAAMS) (VLAAMS) (DEUTSCH) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (ITALIANO) (ESPANOL) (PORTUGUES) (TURKCE)

N.B.: Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook is today in The Netherlands, where he gave a press conference in The Hague organised by HVC (Hulp Vervolgde Christenen), after being forced to flee Pakistan last Saturday due to numerous death threats.  He plans to spend a couple of days in Paris and then settle in London.




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