Pakistan overturns Christian woman’s blasphemy death sentence

“The verdict has shown that the poor, the minorities and the lowest segments of society can get justice in this country despite its shortcomings,” Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook told AFP.

“This is the biggest and happiest day of my life.”

Her case drew the attention of international rights groups and swiftly became the most high-profile in the country.

Pope Benedict XVI called for her release in 2010, while in 2015 her daughter met his successor and the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

Freedom for Bibi in Pakistan, where university students have been lynched and Christians burnt in ovens over blasphemy claims, means a life under threat by hardliners, who regularly hold demonstrations calling for her execution.

The allegations against Bibi date back to 2009, when Muslim women she was labouring with in a field objected to sharing water with her because she was Christian.

After an argument, the women went to a local cleric and accused Bibi of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, a charge punishable by death under colonial-era legislation.

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