There’s a lot of coverage about people wanting to come to this country to seek asylum from places like Central America and Mexico. And most are truthfully economic migrants whose lives are not truly in danger. But there’s a case of a true asylum seeker in desperate need who isn’t getting a lot of media attention. But if she isn’t saved quickly, she and her whole family may be killed.
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, spent eight years on death row after she was accused of blasphemy in Pakistan.
She was found not guilty three weeks ago, but that didn’t end the matter and she hoped to leave the country.
Thousands of hard-line Islamists refused to accept the judgment, marching in the streets and calling for her death.
The government, cowed by the marchers and the mullahs, then agreed to review her case again in order to stop the violent protests and put a travel ban on her.
She has been in protective custody since then, but the family has reported they are constantly moving, being hunted, with the extremists going door to door to hunt them down.
From The Guardian:
Bibi’s lawyer, relatives and supporters have appealed for the family to be given asylum in a European or north American country. Several countries have indicated their willingness to offer a home, but nothing concrete has emerged.
John Pontifex, of Aid to the Church in Need UK (ACN), which has campaigned on Bibi’s behalf since she was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010, said he had been in almost daily contact with her family over the past three weeks and they were very frightened.
“They have told me that mullahs had been reported in their neighbourhood going from house to house showing photos of family members on their phones, trying to hunt them down,” he told the Guardian.
“The family have had to move from place to place to avoid detection. Sometimes they can only operate after sundown. They have had to cover their faces when they go out in public. They have had to remove the rosary that hangs from their car rear-view mirror for fear of attack.”
Pontifex said the family’s faith was “sustaining them in this time of acute danger”. He added: “They say that if they are not allowed to find a future outside Pakistan, the fear is that sooner or later something terrible might happen to them.”
Bibi’s lawyer, family and advocates have been begging Western countries to give her asylum.
While some countries are believed to have offered her asylum, it’s still not clear what’s being done to get her out. Germany and Italy have been talking with Pakistan, but it’s not clear where that’s going and obviously, every minute counts.
From Daily Caller:
Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Monday penned an op-ed for Breitbart arguing that all foreign aid to Pakistan should be cut off until Asia Bibi is freed.
Wilson Chowdhry, of the British Pakistani Christian Association, recently told The Daily Telegraph that the British government will not offer Bibi asylum because it is “concerned about potential unrest in the country, attacks on embassies and civilians.”
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) tweeted against such claims, writing, “There are unfounded media reports that Pakistani national Asia Bibi is being denied asylum into the UK because of concerns from British Muslims. We find such insinuations to be as nonsensical as they are divisive. We see no reason why Asia Bibi should be denied asylum into the UK.”