Aasia Bibi released from prison but still held in Pakistan, as fake news reports put family in danger

13 November 2018

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Aasia Bibi was released from prison on 7 November and flown to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Although a number of international news outlets, including the BBC, initially reported that she and her family were being flown out of the country, the Pakistani government later confirmed she was in “a safe place in Pakistan”.

Aasia Bibi and her family remain in great danger. As Barnabas Fund has previously reported, any departure from Pakistan would have to be arranged at a government level and at present, there is therefore no reason for any organisation to request donations to help Aasia Bibi and her family leave the country.

Aasia Bibi has been released from prison, but has not left Pakistan
Aasia Bibi has been released from prison, but has not left Pakistan

There has been speculation in a number of news outlets that the UK government has not joined other countries in offering Aasia Bibi asylum due to concerns over “potential unrest” in the UK. However, the claim has not been verified and, at the time of writing, the Home Office has not made any official statement on the matter.

After the violent reaction from Islamic hardliners that has already been witnessed on the streets of cities across Pakistan following Aasia Bibi’s acquittal by the Supreme Court, speculative reports about her whereabouts or of potential unrest serve only to heighten security risks.

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