Who is Asia Bibi

Canada / Pakistan: Asia Bibi distances herself from biography

"I was not involved in the biography," said Asia Bibi in an interview with the program of the station "Voice of America" ​​(VOA) on Monday. She was referring to the biography "Enfin Libre!" (Finally free!), Written by the French writer Anne-Isabelle Tollet, which is due to be published at the end of the month. After Asia Bibi's acquittal, Tollet was the only journalist allowed to speak to Asia Bibi. She had played a key role in the struggle to get the Pakistani Catholic woman out of custody; Asia Bibi announced in February that she was asking for asylum in France.

"Not my autobiography"

From the interview with "Voice of America", which was conducted in the Pakistani language Urdu, the Asian press service Ucanews Asia Bibi now quoted as saying:

“I don't know when she wrote the biography, whose story it is, and who directed her for the book. I absolutely disagree with this book because it is not my autobiography. "

In the conversation, Asia Bibi apparently praised Pakistan's legal and judicial system and indirectly justified the blasphemy law.
“The book says that the law put a noose around my neck. The law didn't do it. There was an incident in the village when people tried to kill me for no reason. She [Tollett] blamed the law, but I don't accept anything that is against the law or my country, ”said the Pakistani Christian, according to Ucanews.

“My country has set me free,” continues Asia Bibi: “When people make allegations, the person concerned must be given the opportunity to justify them. The law is absolutely good, but people abuse it. "

Reactions

According to Ucanews, Bibi's statements caused indignation and incomprehension among Christians in Pakistan and in exile abroad. In part, they viewed it as a betrayal of all those people and international institutions and governments who had supported them in their fight against their death sentence.
Former Archbishop of Lahore, Lawrence Saldanha, who, like Asia Bibi, lives in Canada, said in a recent interview that Bibi wanted to lead an inconspicuous life. “She wanted to continue the fight against the blasphemy law. But I suppose someone told her that she would not be safe if she would take action again, ”Ucanews quoted the archbishop as saying.

Almost 9 years on death row

The Catholic Asia Bibi from Punjab sat on death row for almost nine years after being sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy until the verdict was overturned in January 2019 by the highest court in Pakistan. The acquittal led to days of violent protests by Muslim hardliners in Pakistan. In May 2019, she was able to leave for Canada under the greatest of secrecy.

Blasphemy is a capital crime in the predominantly Islamic Pakistan, which is punishable by the death penalty. Amnesty International called for the repeal of relevant Pakistani laws in late August amid an "alarming increase in blasphemy allegations". "The broad, vague and compulsive nature of the blasphemy laws violates the rights to freedom of religion, belief and expression," the human rights organization said.

(ucanews / voice of america / kna - pr)