August 26, 2019
Latest News

Pakistani woman acquitted of blasphemy arrives in Canada

Islamabad, May 8 (efe-epa).- A Pakistani Christian woman, who was on a death row for blasphemy before she was acquitted in 2018 after years in jail, has left Pakistan and arrived in Canada to reunite with her family, her lawyer and government sources said on Wednesday.

Asia Bibi, a mother of five, left for Canada on Tuesday and has landed there after leaving Pakistan where she faced death threats from Islamist groups despite being exonerated by the Supreme Court.

“Asia Bibi reached Canada last night. She left Pakistan with her husband yesterday after the government permitted her to leave. Although it took long, finally she is safe, Alhamdulillah (Thank god),” lawyer Saif ul Malook told EFE.

A top diplomatic source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Bibi had left of her own will with full support and security from the Pakistani government.

“There was a certain procedure which led to the delay for her to leave the country,” the source told EFE, adding “all the arrangements were (made) by the government” for her safe exit from the country.

“She is a free citizen and she could move wherever she wanted to,” said the source, requesting not to be named.

One of Bibi’s close aides told EFE by phone that Bibi and her family members have been offered asylum in Canada.

“The government says that they had to manage some internal issues with the religious parties and with other bodies so it took that long for her to leave the country,” the aide said.

The woman was accused of insulting Prophet Muhammad in 2009 and a court sentenced her to death in 2010 under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, sparking widespread outrage from national and international human rights groups.

Bibi was released from prison after eight years on death row in November last year after she was acquitted by the Supreme Court of blasphemy charges on Oct. 31.

After years in jail, the Supreme Court finally found no evidence against her and ordered her release.

Her acquittal triggered widespread protests by hardliners in the country where blasphemy is a sensitive issue with 97 percent of Pakistan's 180 million inhabitants being Muslims.

The government allowed the protesters to file a review in the top court, which stopped Bibi from leaving the country until the verdict was announced.

The Supreme Court on Jan. 29 rejected the appeal against the acquittal, removing the last obstacle to her freedom and possible exit from the country.

International and local rights groups have been demanding reforms of the controversial blasphemy laws, which were introduced by the military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s.

It is widely believed that such laws are often misused to settle disputes and for personal vendettas.


News history
Morales invites G7 to Bolivia to fulfill Amazon fire aid promises

La Paz, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- The president of Bolivia invited G7 leaders on Sunday to visit his country to implement their commitment to fight the fires...

Pope calls for commitment to save Amazon

Sao Paulo, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- Amazonas on Sunday became the seventh state in Brazil to request assistance from the armed forces in fighting the fires...

Morales accepts int'l help to put out wildfires in Bolivia

La Paz, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- Bolivian President Evo Morales said Sunday that any international help to put out the wildfires in the country's eastern...

Two years since exodus, Rohingyas embrace hardships for safety in Bangladesh

By Azad Majumder

Brazil mobilizes military to fight Amazon fires as global criticism mounts

Brasilia, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- Brazil on Saturday began deploying thousands of army personnel to battle widespread fires that have been raging in the Amazon...

Former King Juan Carlos of Spain has successful triple bypass surgery

Madrid, Aug 24 ago (efe-epa).- Former King Juan Carlos of Spain, father of the current Spanish monarch Felipe VI, had a successful triple bypass surgery...

Rohingyas should not return to Myanmar as of now, says expert

By Carlos Sardiña Galache

Lives and limbs shattered, Rohingya amputees get new lease of life

By Azad Majumder,

Brazilian protesters: "Burn Bolsonaro, Not the Amazon"

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The chant "Burn Bolsonaro, Not the Amazon," rang out Friday in at least a dozen Brazilian cities as thousands poured into...

Ex-Democratic lawmaker predicts young Latinos will unseat Trump

Chicago, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Former Democratic lawmaker Luis Gutierrez predicts that a peaceful revolution of young Hispanic voters, supported by other...

Indonesian green crusader completes 800 km backwards walking to save forest

Jakarta, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- An Indonesian man on Friday completed an incredible feat of walking backwards nearly 800 kilometers (497 miles) from his village...

One step closer to saving northern white rhino from extinction

Nairobi, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Promising developments in the harvesting of eggs belonging to the two last northern white rhinos in the world means scientists...

Malaysia much poorer than its government estimates, says UN

Bangkok, Aug 23 (EFE).- The Malaysian government’s near zero poverty rate claim is inaccurately low, a United Nations expert said on Friday, estimating that...

Rohingyas in Myanmar living in 'appalling conditions’, says HRW

By Mratt Kyaw Thu

International community calls for saving of the Amazon, engulfed in fire

Bogota, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- The fires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest have fueled global fears of environmental devastation, the climate crisis and the...

Mexican human rights commission condemns attacks on journalist

Mexico City, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) on Thursday condemned the attacks by "individuals and authorities" on...

Brazil's president doubles down on criticism of NGOs operating in Amazon

Brasilia, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that while he did not have evidence that non-governmental organizations were behind the...

Giraffes get protection on international trade for 1st time

Geneva, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Giraffes were added on Thursday for the first time to a protection mechanism that restricts their international trade in response...

The former neo-Nazi who converted to Judaism

By Pablo Duer

Still unsafe for Rohingyas to return to Myanmar, Amnesty warns

Bangkok Desk, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Human rights organization Amnesty International warned Thursday that it was still unsafe for members of the Rohingya ethnic...

Cuba relying on bacteria to end dengue epidemic

Havana, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- The dengue epidemic in several Latin American countries is also affecting - albeit to a lesser degree - Cuba, where experts are...

Czechs denounce current leaders during rally to mark 1969 crackdown

Prague, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of Czechs held a demonstration here Wednesday in which they remembered countrymen who were killed or injured on...

Trump seeks to halt family migration by extending child detentions

By Laura Barros

Brazil's president points finger at NGOs in Amazon fires

Brasilia, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro insinuated on Wednesday that non-governmental organizations may be behind the fires in the Amazon, the...

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.