Protests surround woman accused of blasphemy in Pakistan

SHEIKHUPURA, Pakistan (APTN/NBCNC) – A Christian woman who was acquitted eight years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan won’t be leaving that country right away.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned Asia Bibi’s 2010 conviction of insulting the prophet Mohammed on Wednesday, October 30.

That sparked a firestorm of protests by radical Islamists who called for her to be publicly hanged.

Radical Islamist leaders vowed to keep up demonstrations and protests in Pakistani cities against the court ruling every day.

But Friday, authorities agreed to bar the woman from leaving the country until the Supreme Court makes a “final review” of its ruling. This type of court review can take years to complete.

The development has upset human rights groups that have called for the woman’s immediate release.

The woman and her family have always maintained her innocence and have said she never insulted the Prophet.

The charges against Bibi date back to a hot day in 2009 when she went to get water for her and her fellow farmworkers.

Two Muslim women refused to drink from a container used by a Christian.

A few days later, a mob accused her of blasphemy. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

The mere rumor of blasphemy can ignite mob violence and lynchings in Pakistan.

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