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Resolution introduced in US Congress to grant asylum to Pak's Aasia Bibi

Asia continues to be in danger and is the subject of incendiary rhetoric by radical Islamist leaders

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

pak blasphemy case, asia bibi
File photo of Aasia Bibi

A US lawmaker has introduced a resolution in the to grant asylum to Pakistani woman Bibi, claiming she was "persecuted" in that country for being a Christian.

has been persecuted, jailed and threatened for doing nothing more than being a Christian in Pakistan, Congressman said.

The recent decision by Pakistan's top court to overturn Bibi's death sentence and free her from jail is obviously welcome news, the lawmaker said.

However, continues to be in danger and is the subject of incendiary rhetoric by radical Islamist leaders. That's why it's essential for and other defenders of religious freedom to stand up and protect her, Calvert said.

Recognizing the importance of granting asylum to those with legitimate claims of for their religion, race, nationality, membership in a social group, or political belief; the resolution supports granting asylum in the to and her immediate family.

Bibi, a mother of four, may leave shortly as there are threats to her life. Her two daughter had already shifted to

said on Thursday that Bibi, who was recently acquitted by the in a blasphemy case, was a free citizen and has the right to travel anywhere inside the country or abroad.

A three-member bench on Tuesday threw out a petition seeking to review the apex court's decision to acquit 47-year-old

She was arrested in 2009 for allegedly using derogatory words during a quarrel with Muslim women while working on a farm in Nankana Sahib area of province. The case was filed by a on the complaint of the Muslim women.

Bibi was convicted in 2010 by the trial court and her death sentence was maintained by the in 2014. The apex court overturned her conviction last year, sparking days of violent demonstrations led by hardline Islamist parties.

Her case has been deeply divisive in where there is strong support for the controversial blasphemy laws.

Bibi's case gained prominence when former of Pakistan's province was killed in 2011 for supporting her and criticising the blasphemy laws.

A month after Taseer was killed, Pakistan's Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the blasphemy law, was shot dead in

The blasphemy laws were promulgated by former military dictator in 1980s. A person convicted under these laws is given death sentence.

First Published: Fri, February 01 2019. 08:40 IST
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