Here is the latest urgent news that we are receiving from from Pakistan:
Wednesday, 31 October: Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (The „Here I AM Movement“), the political party that defends blasphemy laws, organized a rally for its members to take to the streets and call for Asia Bibi, her lawyer, and the judges’ deaths. The unrest caused attacks against Christians and confrontations with the police.
Thursday, 1 November: Amidst the violence in the streets, something happened that is unheard of in Pakistan. The new Prime Minister, Imran Khan, made a television appearance to defend the judges and their ruling, as well as Christians in general and Asia Bibi and her family in particular. The Tehreek-e-Labbaik party doubled down on its attacks. Newspapers told of many deaths. The wave of violence continued to grip the country.
Friday, 2 November. The government of Pakistan and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party come to an agreement. The Minister of Religious Affairs, the Minister of Punjab Laws, and the leader of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party agree that the government won’t oppose a review of Asia Bibi’s favorable ruling. Meanwhile, she will be barred from leaving the country. Her lawyer flees Pakistan amidst death threats.
Saturday, 3 November: According to sources within Pakistan, the new government is hoping to appease the opposing party through this agreement. Concessions include letting all those who were detained due to violence during the Tehreek-e-Labbaik protests go free.
The messages that we are receiving from within Pakistan regarding this agreement give us hope. They are telling us…
“Yes, an agreement has been announced, but don’t worry, this is just to control the situation in Pakistan.“
And here is an important fact: The agreement of the government with the opposition does not speak of annulling the ruling, it only states that the government would not rule against a review of the ruling. This fact, along with the messages we are receiving from Pakistan, give us hope.
In light of these developments, I want to update you on what we are doing to get Asia Bibi out of Pakistan:
- The agreement with the opposition could be a distraction tactic (this is what many are telling us from Pakistan), or it could delay Asia Bibi’s exit from the country. Either way, we need secure funds and put together a team of lawyers in case the ruling is reviewed. Please click HERE to help Asia Bibi leave Pakistan.
- At the same, we are continuing our preparations for a prompt evacuation the minute it is safe to do so. We are taking diplomatic steps, visiting consulates, arranging transportation, looking into hiring bodyguards in Pakistan, etc.
- CitizenGO is preparing an online petition and rallies in the streets of several countries. We want to put pressure on the Pakistani government to act swiftly in defense of Asia Bibi.
How can you help?
Please forward and share information about Asia Bibi. Send this email to your contacts, let people know what is happening, publish posts on social media, do anything you can to raise awareness for Asia Bibi.
Please don’t be silent. Asia Bibi will not be silent. Her testimony goes on.
Caroline Craddock and the entire CitizenGO team
P.S. If you would like to help with the cost of defending Asia Bibi and bringing her safely out of the country, you can donate HERE. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Video showing violence in the streets after the judges’ ruling: