Asia Bibi’s lawyer leaves country owing to life threats

Lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook, who fought Asia Bibi’s case, left the country on Saturday owing to threats to his life.

Mulook’s latest victory saw the acquittal of Bibi, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy. The Supreme Court on October 31 ordered Bibi’s immediate release stating that blasphemy charges could not be proven against her.

Following the apex court’s decision, religious parties staged protests in major cities across the country and incited violence against the lawyer as well as the judges.

Ahead of boarding a plane to Europe early Saturday morning, Mulook spoke and said, “In the current scenario, it’s not possible for me to live in Pakistan.”

“I need to stay alive as I still have to fight the legal battle for Asia Bibi,” he said.

When asked about the protests following the decision, Mulook said it was “unfortunate but not unexpected”.

Regarding an agreement between the government and the protesters led by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), after which demonstrations across the country ended, Mulook said, “What’s painful is the response of the government. They cannot even implement an order of the country’s highest court.”

He added that “the struggle for justice must continue”.

“Her life would be more or less the same, either inside a prison or in solitary confinement for security fears” until a decision on the appeal, he further said.