Asia Bibi has been living in Canada since her release, in a secret location for fear of reprisals by Muslim fundamentalists. The Catholic woman, who spent years on death row after an accusation of “blasphemy against Islam,” on August 31, 2019 revealed her conditions of detention.
In her first interview with a newspaper, she told the Sunday Telegraph that such was her distress after her death sentence that, “sometimes I was so disappointed and losing courage I used to wonder whether I was coming out of jail or not, what would happen next, whether I would remain here all my life,” she explained.
But there was no question of her showing her sadness to her relatives, “when my daughters visited me in jail, I never cried in front of them, but when they went after meeting me in jail, I used to cry alone filled with pain and grief.”
Asia Bibi talks about her sorrow for having to leave her homeland, confiding her desire to leave the North American continent to settle in a European country.
According to the United States State Department, there are at least 77 other people detained in Pakistan under blasphemy laws. Charges may theoretically carry the death penalty, but this penalty does not need to be enforced by a state official, because trials often end in a collective lynching.
One of the European diplomats who helped negotiate Asia Bibi’s departure from Pakistan, the Slovak, Jan Figel, mentioned in the columns of the Sunday Telegraph, described her as “an admirably brave woman and loving mother who had refused to give up her Christian faith in exchange for immediate freedom,” as she could have done by apostatizing. But faith prevailed