Asia Bibi, a Pakistani woman who spent years on death row for alleged blasphemy against Islam has arrived in Canada after her acquittal, according to her lawyers.
Bibi’s death sentence was overturned last year by the Pakistani Supreme Court, but she was not allowed to leave the country until the ruling was appealed — during that time she was forced to live in hiding from extremists.
It has now been confirmed that Bibi has finally arrived in Canada and reunited with her adult daughters who had fled while she was still in prison.
True North was one of the first to report on Bibi’s harrowing journey and one of the loudest voices arguing for Canada to take in Bibi.
As True North founder Candice Malcolm reported in the Toronto Sun, Bibi represents why Canada admits refugees in the first place.
“Her case highlights the very reason countries such as Canada have an asylum program — to protect individuals from cruel and unjust treatment while upholding our own values of freedom of speech, religious freedom and the rule of law.”
Bibi’s story highlights how extreme and ridiculous Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are.
One day Bibi was fetching water for her family at the local well. Along the way Bibi found a cup on the ground which she used to drink water from. Another villager saw this and berated her, saying it was not right for a Christian to drink from the same cup as a Muslim.
Later that day an angry mob stormed into her house, demanding that she and her family convert to Islam, which they refused to do.
Bibi was accused by the angry mob of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death in Pakistan.
In 2010, Bibi was sentenced to death by a Pakistani court. The death sentence shocked and angered many around the world — leading to widespread condemnation.
In 2018 in her sentence was overturned and she was released from prison — but remained trapped in Pakistan.
She lived in police protection and received countless death threats.
Now finally — in part, thanks to pressure from organizations like True North — Asia Bibi is finally safe in a country which protects freedom of religion and expression.