Lahore  -   Aasia Bibi , the Christian woman who was cleared of blasphemy charges by the Supreme Court last week, has been released from Multan prison, her lawyer told AFP on Wednesday night.

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Samaa and some other local TV channels also reported Aasia’s release, which came after she served eight years in jail.

ARY News reported that Aasia cannot leave the country unless the review petition filed against her acquittal is decided by the Supreme Court.

The lawyer who pleaded her case in the apex court has already left the country for fear of his life.

Aasia Bibi was condemned to death on blasphemy charges by a trial court and her conviction was upheld by the Lahore High Court.

Accepting the appeal she had filed in 2015 against the sentence, the apex court acquitted her on October 31.

The three-member bench which heard her appeal was headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and included Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.

The CJP read out the 56-page verdict which overturned the LHC and trial court judgments and directed authorities to release Aasia from prison.

“The appeal is allowed. She has been acquitted. The judgment of the high court, as well as the trial court, is reversed. Her conviction is set aside,” Justice Khosa had added a separate opinion in the verdict.

After SC’s judgment, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) launched a countrywide protest, bringing several cities to a standstill for nearly three days. The protests ended only after the government signed a controversial agreement with the TLP.

Faced with intense criticism for succumbing to pressure of a hard line group, the government later launched a crackdown against miscreants involved in vandalism during the protests.

The interior ministry also directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to investigate the hate material floated on social media which helped incite the people to come on streets, injure citizens, torch vehicles and damage public and private property.

On Tuesday, CJP Nisar took notice of vandalism during the protests and directed the federal and the provincial governments to submit a report on the destruction of public and private property. According to a court spokesperson, Justice Nisar sought the report to ensure compensation to those who suffered the loss during the protests.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan was presented with a report regarding action being taken against individuals involved in the TLP protests.

According to the report, cases were registered against as many as 5,000 violent protesters and all resources were being mobilized.

The federal government was also contacting the provincial governments and different state institutions for help in the matter.

PM Khan was informed that the FIA and PTA were taking action against those engaged in cybercrimes. Pictures and videos were being used to identify the miscreants.

 

Aasia Bibi released from jail