Pakistan court to review acquittal in blasphemy trial

Legal Compliance

The lawyer of a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for charges of blasphemy vowed to secure her freedom when the country's Supreme Court meets Tuesday to reconsider an acquittal announced last year.

Aasia Bibi was released from prison in October but has been under guard in a secret location since then because of death threats from Islamic extremists. Blasphemy against Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere rumor that someone has committed blasphemy can ignite lynchings.

If Pakistan's top court upholds its earlier ruling, Bibi will be free to leave for Canada, where her daughters have already been granted asylum.

Her attorney, Saiful Malook, who has also received death threats and fled the country after her acquittal, is back in Islamabad and will attend Tuesday's hearing.

"I am sure the review petition ... will be rejected," Malook told The Associated Press on Monday. He said he has asked authorities to provide him with personal security.

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