After Asia Bibi was pronounced innocent on 31st October 2018, protesters who continue to demand her execution, blocked highways and forced the closure of schools and businesses.

This violent protests were organised by the Islamist political movement Tehreek-e-Labbaik.

In order to end the protests, Pakistan’s government agreed to a deal which allowed Tehreek-e-Labbaik to begin proceedings to have Asia Bibi put on the “exit control list” to prevent her leaving the country.

Saif ul-Malook, Asia Bibi’s defence lawyer has reportedly left Pakistan due to security concerns.

This situation has forced the family to remain in hiding.

In a distress call to Aid to the Church in Need, her husband, Ashiq Masih described how difficult things have become for the family:

“We are extremely worried because our lives are in danger. We no longer have even anything to eat, because we cannot leave the house to buy food”.

While thanking ACN for giving them the opportunity to “speak to the world”, Ashiq appealed to the Italian government for asylum and every possible aid to leave the country.

The family has been appealing to governments of Europe, the UK, US and Canada for asylum.

Responding to these calls, the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani stated in a letter addressed to Asia Bibi’s husband,

 “The European Parliament is extremely concerned for your safety as well as your family’s due to the violence by extremist elements in Pakistan.  We have asked the Pakistani authorities to guarantee your safety and of those protecting you”.

The EU Parliament President promised to help the family get out of Pakistan:

“The Pakistani authorities must uphold the rule of law and their international human rights commitments. I will personally contact the relevant Pakistani authorities to ask them to provide you and your family with necessary travel documents”.

The family has requested that no further details be released at this time because of concerns regarding her safety.

ACN Malta