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'She confessed... how can we forgive her?': Asia Bibi's former neighbours still want her put to death

'She confessed... how can we forgive her?': Asia Bibi's former neighbours still want her put to death

Country: 
Pakistan
News Date: 
28/12/2018
Lancastrian
Summary: 

 The accusation against a Christian mother-of-five called Asia Bibi and the death sentence that followed divided Pakistan and prompted religious extremists to assassinate two senior politicians who spoke out for her.  The 54-year-old was in October acquitted on appeal, but remains in protective custody until the ruling has been reviewed. She is widely expected to be freed to flee to the West and claim asylum.  Pakistan's supreme court demolished her conviction saying it was fatally undermined by procedural problems, contradictory testimony from her accusers and an apparently forced confession.

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But even settling her abroad is not without complications. Wary of a reaction from Britain's Muslim community, prime minister Theresa May reportedly shrugged off the pleas of cabinet ministers that the UK step forward and offer a route to safety. Australia, the US or Canada are likely alternatives.  Yet in Ittan Wali, where it all began, time has not mellowed the villagers accusations and there is no forgiveness for a woman who spent eight years on death row. “She confessed her crime in front of them, how can they forgive her?” asked Mohammad Bota, the 50-year-old elder brother of Mohammad Idris.