- Title: Italy says will help Pakistani woman in blasphemy case leave her country
- Date: 8th November 2018
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (NOVEMBER 8, 2018) (REUTERS) MARTA PETROSILLO, SPOKESPERSON TO CATHOLIC AGENCY AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED (ACN) WALKING IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARTA PETROSILLO, SPOKESPERSON TO CATHOLIC AGENCY AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED (ACN) SAYING: "We spoke with a tutor of the family which is with her (Asia Bibi) and with her family in a secure location. Asia Bibi is with her family but up until now still separated as she is under a higher protection. So far as we know she was able only to speak with her husband and she didn't meet her daughters yet, but they are finally all together and they are waiting to go out of Pakistan but this morning they were still in Pakistan." ROME, ITALY (RECENT - NOVEMBER 5, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF VATICAN
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2018 12:07
- Keywords: Pakistan's Supreme Court Asia Bibi Christian and human rights groups
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00295NB8SN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Italy said on Thursday (November 8) it will help a Pakistani Christian woman leave her country because her life is in danger following charges of blasphemy against Islam that put her on death row for eight years.
Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi last month but the decision sparked mass protests and her husband, Ashiq Masih, says they could be killed by Islamists. Authorities have indicated they will bar Bibi from travelling abroad.
In February 2018, Masih and his daughter attended a ceremony in Italy to show solidarity with persecuted Christians where Rome's ancient Colosseum was lit in red.
Asia Bibi's case has galvanized Christian and human rights groups outraged by the country's treatment of religious minorities including its tiny Christian population.
Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told a radio station that Italy is working discreetly on the case with other Western countries.
Marta Petrosillo, a spokesperson for the international Catholic agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said her organisation had spoken to someone close to the family earlier in the morning.
Petrosillo said Asia Bibi was in the same security complex as her family but still separated from them.
"So far as we know she was able only to speak with her husband and she didn't meet her daughters yet, but they are finally all together and they are waiting to go out of Pakistan but this morning they were still in Pakistan," she said.
Bibi's case has prompted groups such as ACN, which has close ties to the Vatican, to demand protection for Christians in countries where they are a minority.
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