Pakistani authorities release Asia Bibi from prison: reports


MULTAN -- A Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy has been freed from jail after an acquittal but is still in Pakistan, officials said Thursday (November 8) amid appeals for her to be offered asylum abroad.

"She has been freed," her lawyer, Saif-ul-Mulook, texted to AFP. "I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land."

An order for her release arrived Wednesday (November 7) at the jail in Multan where she was detained, a prison official told AFP, referring to Multan District, Punjab Province.

"Asia Bibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place!" tweeted Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.

A civil aviation official in Multan said a small plane arrived in the city with "a few foreigners and some Pakistanis" on board to fetch Bibi.

Bibi's conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court October 31, triggering violent protests by Islamist hardliners who demanded her execution. Bibi remained in prison as the government negotiated with the hardliners.

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