Asia Bibi, the Catholic woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistan, left for Canada on the evening of May 7, her lawyer has confirmed.
“She was reunited with her family in Canada more than five hours ago,” Saiful Malook, who represented Bibi in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, told ucanews.com on May 8.
The mother of five had been on death row since being convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and was held in solitary confinement. In a landmark judgment, the apex court quashed her death sentence last November and ordered her immediate release from prison.
The ruling, however, sparked violent nationwide protests that came to an end only after the government agreed to stop Bibi from leaving Pakistan until a challenge to her acquittal was heard by the top court. The court, however, upheld Bibi’s acquittal on Jan. 29, allowing her to exit Pakistan.
Days after the court ruling, she was airlifted from a prison in Multan to the capital Islamabad, where she was reportedly kept in a safe house due to death threats. Bibi’s two daughters flew to Canada some months ago to start new lives in safety.