Christian leaves Pakistan after blasphemy acquittal

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent years on death row after being convicted of blasphemy, has left the country, officials have confirmed, according to the BBC.

Her conviction was overturned last year by the Supreme Court.

She was originally convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours.

Asia Bibi has always maintained her innocence in a case that has polarised Pakistan.

Pakistani government officials did not reveal her destination, or say when she left.

But her lawyer Saif ul Malook told the BBC she had already arrived in Canada, where two of her daughters are understood to have been granted asylum.

Asia Noreen – commonly known as Asia Bibi – was kept at a secret location while arrangements were made for her to leave the country.

The Supreme Court’s quashing of her sentence last October led to violent protests by religious hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws, while more liberal sections of society urged her release.

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