FREEDOM

Pakistan’s Top Court Upholds Asia Bibi's Acquittal—She's Now Free to Go

Asia Bibi—the Christian woman whose case received international attention after she was sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan—is free to leave the country after its top court upheld her acquittal. Bibi is now expected to join her daughters who were given asylum in Canada. She spent eight years on death row after she was accused of insulting Islam’s prophet in 2009. The ruling comes as a blow to radical Islamists who had demanded her execution. “I am really gratefully to everybody, now after nine years it is confirmed that I am free and I will be going to hug my daughters,” a friend quoted Bibi as saying, according to the Associated Press. Following protests after Bibi’s initial acquittal in October, radical clerics Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Mohammad Afzal Qadri, both leaders of the Tehreekk-e-Labbaik Party, were arrested for destroying public property during rallies against Bibi and for inciting their followers to violence. They remain in custody.