Aasia Bibi released from Multan jail

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Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who was recently acquitted by the Supreme Court (SC) in a blasphemy case after having served eight years in jail, has been released from a Multan jail, according to media reports.

On October 31, SC acquitted Aasia Bibi, who was condemned to death on blasphemy charges, after accepting her 2015 appeal against her sentence.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, heading the three-member bench comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, had read the 56-page verdict and announced the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict was set aside and directed authorities to release Aasia Bibi from prison.

“The appeal is allowed. She has been acquitted. The judgement of the high court, as well as the trial court, is reversed. Her conviction is set aside,” Justice Khosa had added a separate opinion in the verdict.

The apex court had added that Aasia is to be set free if she is not wanted in any other case.

After SC’s judgement, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) launched a countrywide protest, bringing several cities to a standstill for nearly three days, ending after the government signed an agreement with them.

The interior ministry later launched a crackdown against miscreants involved in vandalism during the protests and directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to investigate ‘propaganda’ inciting hate on social media.

On Tuesday, CJP Nisar took notice of vandalism during the protests and directed the federal and the provincial governments to submit a report on the destruction of public and private property during the protests. According to a spokesperson of the top court, CJP Nisar sought a report about the damages in order to compensate those who suffered the loss of valuables and lives.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan was presented with a report regarding action being taken against individuals involved in the TLP protests.

According to the report, cases were registered against as many as 5,000 violent protesters and all resources were being mobilised, and the federal government was also contacting the provincial governments, defence ministry and other state institutions for their help in the matter. PM Khan was also informed that the FIA and PTA were taking action against those engaged in cybercrime and pictures and videos were also being used to aid the investigation against the miscreants.

TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s Twitter account was also blocked on Sunday.