ISLAMABAD – Saif Mulook, the lawyer of Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was acquitted of blasphemy by the Supreme Court of Pakistan after spending eight years on death row, fled the country on Saturday in fear for his life.
The lawyer told EFE that he decided to leave Pakistan on Saturday morning after protests led by the Islamist Tehreek-i-Labaik (TLP) party against Asia’s acquittal paralyzed parts of the country.
Mulook, who did not wish to indicate the country he fled to, said he would “love” to return to Pakistan to defend the Christian woman, who now faces an appeal against her acquittal, which was presented before the Supreme Court.
Asia’s death sentence for blasphemy was repealed on Wednesday after the two women who accused her were found to have contradicted themselves and lied.
Almost immediately after the court’s decision was announced, Islamists throughout Pakistan took to the streets, paralyzing much of the country for three days.
The Christian woman, a mother of five, was accused in 2009 by two other women of allegedly making offensive comments against the Prophet Muhammad.
A court condemned her to death in 2010 and she lost an appeal before the Lahore High Court four years later.
Pakistan’s harsh anti-blasphemy law was established during British colonial rule to avoid religious clashes, but several changes to the law in the 1980s promoted by dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq led its abuse.