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Asia Bibi not allowed to leave Pakistan

Sat 03 Nov 2018
By Cara Bentley

The Pakistan government has made a deal with an Islamist party to pave the way for Asia Bibi's name to be put on a list of people who are not allowed to leave the country. 

Despite her lawyer Saif ul-Malook, saying "A person alleged to have committed blasphemy cannot live in Pakistan", authorities are taking action to put her on the Exit Control list. 

Malook, who successfully won her court appeal, has now fled Pakistan for safety after violent Muslim rioters who had threatened to kill him along with Asia Bibi and other people who supported her. 

Fleeing may not be an option for Asia Bibi though, as the government made an agreement on Friday with Islamist protesters to begin the process of stopping her leaving the country. 

There has been rioting in the country since her acquittal from accusations of blasphemy on Wednesday. 

In 2010, Asia Bibi was accused of blaspheming against the prophet Muhammad. After nearly a decade away from her family and on death row, she was cleared of the accusation this week and told she would not face the death penalty. 

This caused unrest throughout Pakistan for those who still believe she insulted Islam, leading to the government striking a deal with rioters to limit her movement. 

Also part of the agreement was a promise to not reject a petition to review her acquittal and to release those arrested at the protests. 

Supporters have expressed their dismay at this, saying it does not follow legal processes and that the government are bowing to pressure from the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, an Islamist political party. 

Many want her to be given asylum, with France and Spain having offered, and the UK, Australia and Canada being seen a potential options. 

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