Italy said on Tuesday it will help Asia Bibi obtain asylum after Pakistan’s government indicated the Catholic mother of five would not be allowed to go abroad, placing her and her family’s lives in danger.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Asia Oct. 31 after she had spent eight years on death row, charged with blasphemy against Islam.
News of her acquittal sparked mass protests by Islamists in Pakistan, leading her husband, Ashiq Masih, to warn that he, Asia and their children could be killed.
Asia remains in prison awaiting her release while her family members remain at home in a safe place. Her defense lawyer, Saif ul-Malook, has already left the country for his own safety.
Italy’s deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told Italian media Nov. 6 that he wants “women and children whose lives are at risk to be able to have a secure future, in our country or in other Western countries, so I will do everything humanly possible to guarantee that (for Asia).
“It is not permissible that in 2018 someone can risk losing their life” for a “hypothesis of blasphemy,” he added.
Other Italian politicians on both sides of the political aisle have also voiced their support for giving Asia a safe passage out of the country, including former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni who has urged the Italian government to “take all the necessary steps” to welcome her to Italy.
The pressure is meeting strong resistance from Islamists. “There will be a war if they send Asia out of the country,” warned Khadim Hussain Rizvi, leader of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Labbaik Islamist party, concerned that it would represent a defeat for sharia law.
Pakistan’s government announced yesterday it had started a process to put Asia on a no-fly list which observers say would be tantamount to a death sentence. She was jailed after allegedly making derogatory comments about Mohammad in 2009 to fellow farm workers.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)