On her way out

Asia Bibi is free to leave, at last.

Asia Bibi, the Christian farm labourer who spent eight years on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy, is expected to leave the country after the supreme court upheld her acquittal.

The court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to October’s ruling brought by an extreme Islamist party, which led violent protests across the country in the autumn and called for Bibi to be killed.

Bibi, who has been held at a secret location since her death sentence was overturned, could be flown out of the country within hours. Two of her children are reportedly already in Canada, which has offered Bibi asylum.

Her lawyer told reporters she will probably leave today. (That seems risky and provocative at first glance, but maybe the idea is to say don’t even bother to riot because you’ll be too late.)

Hafiz Ehtisham Ahmed, an Islamist activist linked to the extremist Red Mosque in Islamabad, said Bibi may not be safe wherever she goes. “She deserves to be murdered according to sharia. If she goes abroad, don’t Muslims live there? If she goes out of Pakistan … anybody can kill her there,” she told AFP.

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which was formed to defend Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and which led violent protests demanding Bibi’s execution after her acquittal, called on Tuesday for its members to be ready for action.

Murder people for the glory of god – one of the most enduring bad ideas humans have come up with.

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