After being on death row for eight years and protective custody for another, Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi has made it out of Pakistan.
According to Fox News, Bibi flew out of Pakistan under a veil of secrecy on Tuesday and made her way to Canada where she later reunited with her family.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, Bibi was arrested in 2009 and was put on death row after being accused of blaspheming the Islamic prophet Muhammed in an argument with several Muslim women.
Bibi denied the claims, but was sentenced to hanging, nonetheless.
According to The Christian Post, insulting Islam or the prophet Muhammad in Pakistan is considered blasphemy and is a crime punishable by life in prison or death. The Christian Post notes that the law is frequently abused to target religious minorities.
After Bibi was acquitted in October 2018, she was released from imprisonment, but kept under protective custody since she was denied the ability to leave Pakistan and numerous threats were made on her life. Angry that she had been acquitted, Pakistani Muslim radicals blocked off streets in Pakistan and called for Bibi’s execution as well as for the murder of the Supreme Court justices who approved her release.
Despite this, the 54-year-old mother of five held on to hope and now, she has finally been reunited with her family.
Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul Malook told Fox News that she is safely in Canada and doing well. He said, “She is free now. The case is over and she can move on safely with her life in Canada.”
Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association Wilson Chowdhry, who worked as a liaison between diplomats and Bibi’s husband, also rejoiced over Bibi’s release.
Chowdhry highlighted Bibi’s bravery and strength noting that she “bravely held onto her faith.”
He said, “She was offered freedom on several occasions by officials and prison workers pressuring her to convert to Islam and if she did, she would immediately be released.”
He proclaimed, “She deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. She refused to capitulate, she is a testimony to us all.”