On October 31, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted a Pakistani Christian woman, known as Asia Bibi, of the crime of blasphemy. Asia Bibi was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to death by hanging. Despite the Supreme Court judgment that led to her acquittal, Bibi remains imprisoned. While she may soon be allowed to go free from the jail cell that she has occupied for over eight years, she faces a new type of imprisonment; imprisonment in Pakistan. The government have effectively banned her from leaving.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Bibi’s conviction has sparked violent protests led by the popular and influential Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party. What awaits Bibi in Pakistan is almost certain death at the hands of angry mobs who wish to see her hang.
In an effort to quell these violent protests, the Pakistani government reached an agreement whereby it will impose a travel ban upon Bibi, effectively preventing her from leaving Pakistan and finding a safe haven. In exchange, the TLP will call for an end to the violent protests. As part of the agreement, the Pakistani government has agreed that it will not object to an appeal against Bibi’s release.
So why do the protesters crave the blood of Asia Bibi?
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