Asia Bibi has been set free from her long-term home under captivity at Multan Jail and we confirmed this with media after news from her family. BPCA will not be confrming any more details to media groups until given the express permission of the family.
Wilson Chowdhry has spoke with the family of Asia Bibi, at 6am UK time on 8th November and they expressed that is of the utmost importance that there be no further speculation on her whereabouts reported by either concerned groups or international media. Asia Bibi, her family and guardians all still face a real and present danger of being killed.
This article is to celebrate the release of Asia Bibi and though general steps brought forth by human rights activists any reports or comments therein about her possible location are not endorsed by BPCA and have already been published by other media.
Asia Bibi has now seen the light of day after ten years of incarceration, eight of which were on death row after she was falsely accused of blasphemy. The allegation arose after she drank water from a well used by Muslims offered some to her co-workers who believed she had ritually defiled the well as they considered Christians unclean. Those convicted under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are subject to harsh penalties such as life imprisonment and the death penalty.
This is a moment to pause and celebrate.
Unable to contain himself President of the European Parliament on her release from prison Atonio Tajani tweeted:
“Asia Bibi has left the prison and has been transferred to a safe place!”
News reports continue to abound claiming that she will be going to one country or another, has left for parts unknown and even commenting on where she may be going and what her supposed travel itinerary is, which hardly seems advisable given the heightened concern for her safety and clear petition to put her on the exit list. (click here) The fact is that anything could happen.
Read about how Hanna Chowdhry’s prayers were answered in the local Guardian (click here)
Hannah Chowdhry (14 yrs) a long-term campaigner for Asia Bibi, said:
“I learned about Asia Bibi many years ago when my father spoke at Westminster Cathedral about the matter during a programme organised by Aid to The Church In Need. 4 years later I was talking about her plight at the same venue before thousands of people.”
“I met her daughter only 4 weeks ago, she is only 4 years older than me and has travelled the world trying to free her mother from her unjust imprisonment. I hugged her and told her I would pray for her mother – a promise I have kept daily.
“When the Supreme Court gave a verdict in Asia Bibi’s favour my father woke us up earlier then normal – our whole household was elated, it has been a long campaign.
“I wish I could meet Eisham now and tell her how valuable her efforts were and hope one day to meet Asia Bibi, her bravery is a testament to us all.”
Wilson Chowdhry spoke with the family 8th November and they have requested that media not continue this pattern of inquiry. Asia’s safety is of the utmost importance and they have asked that no further speculation be reported by either concerned groups or international media.
Expressing hope that her release would be followed by speedy asylum Wilson Chowdhry said:
“Despite all the rioting and looting by Pakistani citizens incensed with her impending freedom, we were confident that Asia Bibi would be set
free from her cell and the violent extremism that has made her ancestral homeland a living nightmare for her, and hope she now live out the rest of her years in peace.”
Wilson Chowdhry said:
“News of Asia’s release today bring great elation and joy to the Christian community of Pakistan and their diaspora across the world.
“I am sure we are joined by people of good conscience of all and no faiths who rejoice at the justice of her freedom and exit from Pakistan.”
Commenting on Asia’s prolonged suffering and the insurmountable obstacles she had for freedom Wilson Chowdhry further commented:
“For almost ten years she has been brutally incarcerated in a prison cell for a blasphemy she did not commit and part of me questions if
their is any justice at all for this woman, who has lost so much.
“Nothing will ever restore her years away from her family or the vile hatred she has had to endure, simply for drinking from the same well as
“If you told me two years ago that Asia Bibi would one day be set free, I would have told you it was not humanly possible. My blog posts have
been very pessimistic.
“However, I believe we serve a real and living God and his divine intervention has made possible the impossible.”
Asia Bibi has stood as testament to her faith and shown incredible fortitude throughout this experience and the entire Christian community is both proud of her, relieved that she is now free, and advocating for her to be able to leave and given asylum in a foreign country.
Mr Chowdhry outlining the very real dignity and grace Asia Bibi has displayed throughout her ordeal, says he believes she should be honoured for her patience under suffering. He explained:
“Asia Bibi has never called for anger against her persecutors, she has resolutely held to her faith despite the brutality of her solitary confinement – when converting to Islam could have led to her early exit from prison.
“Her stoic, unmatchable bravery is deserving of a Noble Peace prize and I expect she will receive one after narrowly failing to win the Sakharov prize.
People from all diversities have been celebrating her acquittal, release and calling for asylum and expressed well wishes during the long ordeal.
Human rights activist Raheel Raza from Muslims Facing Tomorrow has been carefully watching the case and when she previously expressed her heartfelt gladness at positive developments in the case she pointed out to BPCA that there is still work to do saying:
“The Blasphemy law in Pakistan is a travesty of justice and human rights.”
Though Asia Bibi’s release is heartening Ms Raza’s sentiments are entirely correct. The blasphemy laws still need to be repealed and they are particularly used to persecute religious minorities. Pakistani citizens are still getting life sentences for blasphemy, and being killed or punished with torture of sexual violence even before being charged or convicted.
Human rights & LGBTQ+ Activist Peter Tatchell has been calling for Asia Bibi to be given in the UK and questioning the silence of leading British-Pakistani politician about why they have not been vocally campaigning for her to be brought the UK.
Asia still needs to be removed from the danger and Mr Tatchell rightly points out that many individuals one might expect to advocate for her Asylum have yet to do so. However, we continue to be hopeful that the efforts of those advocates who have spoken up for her asylum will see the fruit of their labours.
British Pakistani Christian Association has been hearing from people of all background who are elated that she is now free.
We welcome your celebratory comments about her release below in the comment section.
Please sign our petition calling asylum for Asia Bibi (click here)
Please sign our petition calling for termination of UK Foreign aid to Pakistan (click here)
British Pakistani Christian Association, continues to provide advocacy and humanitarian aid to Christians in Pakistan and people of Britain. We cannot do it without your help please donate by clicking (here)