Salvini offers Pakistani Christian asylum after blasphemy conviction overturned
Matteo Salvini, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, has offered Asia Bibi asylum in Italy after a conviction against claiming she insulted the Prophet Mohammad was crushed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court. The Christian Pakistani mother faces calls from thousands in Pakistan for her to be executed.
She is now banned from leaving Pakistan in a bid to quell the anger over her acquittal, however, Salvini has pledged to help her. Commenting on Bibi’s case he said: “I want women and children whose lives are at risk to be able to have a secure future, in our country or in other Western countries, so I will do everything humanly possible to guarantee that.
“It is not permissible that in 2018 someone can risk losing their life for a … hypothesis of blasphemy.”
Salvini also tweeted his support saying: “On the case of #AsiaBibi we are working discreetly and carefully, along with other Western countries. I will do everything humanly possible to secure a future for this girl.”
Protests involving thousands of demonstrators demanding that Ms Bibi be hanged, spearheaded by the hardline Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, erupted moments after the Supreme Court overturned the conviction on Wednesday.
The government of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan reached a deal with TLP and other Islamist groups on Friday to end the protests, with various levels of success, if Ms Bibi was banned from leaving Pakistan.
‘There will be a war if they send Asia out of country,’ TLP leader Cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi said after the deal was reached.