Daughters of Asia Bibi in Canada: source

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The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, whose blasphemy case spotlighted religious extremism in her country, are now in Canada, a source close to the case said Wednesday.

Unconfirmed Pakistani reports earlier claimed the children had already fled to Canada, and speculation was rampant that she would seek asylum in North America or Europe.

Canadian officials reached by AFP would not confirm the source’s information.

Bibi, a laborer from central Punjab province, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and was on death row in the Muslim majority country until her acquittal last year which prompted days of violent Islamist demonstrations.

Under a deal with protesters to end the violence, the government allowed a petition demanding an appeal against the acquittal.

But Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Tuesday threw out the petition, lifting the last legal hurdle in the case and paving the way for her to leave the country.

After the ruling, Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook hinted that his client’s move could be imminent.

“I think at this time she is here (in Pakistan) — but by tonight, I don’t know,” he told reporters outside the court.

Extremists “said they would kill her despite the judgment of the Supreme Court,” he said. “Therefore, I think she should leave the country.”

But the call by religious hardliners for protests fell flat on Wednesday, when fewer than 30 demonstrated in two cities.

This article or news story originally appeared on AFP