Asia Bibi’s lawyer has fled to The Netherlands after receiving death threats in Pakistan.
On November 3 Saif-ul-Malook left Pakistan on Saturday just days after the death sentence and conviction of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi was overturned by the Supreme Court.
Greeting the lawyer were European legislator Peter van Dalen of the ChristenUnion-SGP faction along with activist Jan Dirk van Nifterik who leads the Dutch advocacy group ‘Hulp Vervolgde Christenen’ (Help Persecuted Christians).
According to reports, speaking on Monday Malook said the EU and the United Nations made him leave the country against his wishes because his life was at risk.
Earlier said he had left the country to save his life from an “angry mob” amid fears for his family’s safety.
Over the weekend the Pakistani government announced it had reached a deal with Islamists in which it agreed to impose a travel ban on Bibi while her case is under review.
In return, the Islamists called a halt to the protests which had brought the country to a standstill since the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“The influence of a given religion in a nation ought never to mean that citizens of another religion can be subject to discrimination in social life or, even worse, that violence against them can be tolerated.”...
- Pope Emeritus Benedict
“There is a very clear sense that people are nervous about the misuse of the blasphemy law, as a tool of politics or “…a mob thing […] ” he added, flanked by two Pakistani bishops. He earlier told reporters: “Equality under the law is important…”...
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“The law for punishing blasphemy against the Prophet (sws) that is invoked in Pakistan has no foundation in the Qur'ān or Hadith.”...
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Renowned Quranic scholar & Islamic modernist theologist
“The problem is not so much the idea of a law against blasphemy, as about a law whose penalty is so severe and whose practice gives so much scope for allowing people to settle private scores.” ...
- Dr Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury