French President Emmanuel Macron will receive Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010 and acquitted eight years later before finding refuge in Canada, who again expressed the wish to obtain asylum in Friday. France, announced the Elysee Palace on Monday February 24. “As we have always said, France is ready to welcome Mme Asia Bibi and her family in France if that is their wish ”said the presidency.
Currently in Paris to present his testimony book this week Finally free !, Asia Bibi said on RTL on Monday that living in France was his 'Desire'. “Obviously, I want the president to hear my request” Asylum, she added, hoping to have the opportunity to meet Emmanuel Macron and his wife during his stay in Paris, which is taking place under protection because of the threats of which she remains the target.
“Since her conviction in 2010 for the offense of blasphemy, France has been mobilized alongside Asia Bibi, underlines the Elysee Palace. We argued for his acquittal and acted, with our European and Canadian partners, for his effective release. “
“France is the country where I received a new life (…) Anne-Isabelle is like an angel to me “, explained Asia Bibi, in reference to French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, with whom she wrote her autobiographical book and hopes to continue working. Released at the end of January in French (it will be released in September in English), the book gives few details on his new life in Canada, but returns at length to his imprisonment.
Asia Bibi is to receive Tuesday afternoon from the hands of the socialist mayor of the capital, Anne Hidalgo, the diploma of honor from the City of Paris which was awarded to her in 2014. It should be her first public appearance. She is also scheduled to meet journalists over the weekend.
Farm worker and mother in her fifties, Mme Bibi had been sentenced to death for “Blasphemy” following an argument with Muslim villagers over a glass of water.
Blasphemy is an inflammatory subject in Pakistan, where simple accusations are sometimes enough to lead to murderous lynchings. The result was a long legal saga that had divided the country and moved the international community, drawing the attention of Popes Benedict XVI and Francis.
After spending more than eight years on death row in Pakistan, until her acquittal in October 2018, she has lived in Canada since May 2019. “I have a deep gratitude for Canada, which has given me a place to stay, I want to thank them”, said Asia Bibi on Monday. “The Pope too, I would like to thank him, he also spoke on my behalf”, she added.
One of the most downgraded communities in Pakistan is the Christians, who make up about 2% of the overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistani population.