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Fearing For His Family's Safety, Asia Bibi's Husband Pleads for Asylum

11-04-2018

Asia Bibi's acquittal by Pakistan's Supreme Court on charges of blasphemy last week has sparked numerous protests throughout the Islamic country. 
 
Now her husband, Ashiq Masih, is requesting asylum for their family.  He told German broadcaster DW  that "he and his family were frightened" after Pakistan's government brokered a deal with the hardline Tehreek-i-Labaik party (TLP)  in order to end protests over Asia Bibi's acquittal.

"The agreement has sent a shiver down my spine," Masih said.  "My family is frightened, my relatives are frightened and my friends are also frightened."

"This agreement should never have been struck," he went on to say. "The three judges delivered the verdict after taking into account all aspects of the case, analyzing all factors, studying the contradictions and basing everything on facts. Therefore, the government should not have come to such an agreement. I think the Supreme Court should take notice of this."

Fearing for his family's safety, Masih has requested the prime minister of the UK to step in and negotiate for the family's freedom.  He has also called on Canadian and US leaders for help, according to the BBC.

As CBN News reported, the Christian woman was just acquitted after eight years on death row for blasphemy, allegedly for insulting Islam's founder Muhammad. Bibi's family says they want to leave the country.   Islamists raged for two days following the country's Supreme Court verdict, blocking roads and burning tires.

Protesters are calling for her to be publicly hanged. Bibi's lawyer, Saif Mulook, left Pakistan on Saturday, saying he feared for his life. 
 
Tom Tugendhat, a member of the British Parliament and the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said he had asked the Home Office for an "urgent evaluation of the situation," according to The Guardian.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudry told the BBC  that security had been "beefed up" to protect Asia Bibi.

"Yes, there is a situation and we are dealing with it, but I assure you that her life is not in danger," he told the BBC's Newshour program.

He described the government's deal with the protesters as "firefighting," saying it helped to "resolve the situation without resorting to violence."

Bibi has reportedly been taken to an undisclosed location as she and her family look for a way to flee Pakistan.

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