Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has appealed for help from President Trump on behalf of stricken Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi. Last month, the 53-year-old mother was acquitted on charges of blasphemy but remains in grave danger as Islamic radicals protest the landmark Supreme Court ruling and demand her execution. Taking to Twitter, Sen. Paul said that he had “spoke with @realDonaldTrump about offering asylum to Asia Bibi.”
“Pakistan must ensure her safety until she is able to depart in the near future,” he added. “This Christian woman has been persecuted enough!”
Just spoke to @RichardGrenell about helping Asia Bibi in Pakistan. We are committed to working together to give her asylum in the United States. Thank you Ric for all you’re doing to assist her! Let’s make it happen.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 15, 2018
Bibi is currently being held under armed guard at an undisclosed location in Islamabad after being released from prison in Punjab province. However, as part of a deal negotiated between the Pakistani government and leading Islamic clerics from the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, the acquitted woman’s Supreme Court ruling is now being reviewed.
So, Bibi’s situation remains highly unstable. Indeed, as the government seeks to put the mother on its Exit Control List (ECL) and prevent her from leaving the country, a petition has been lodged by the blood-thirsty religious fundamentalists in a bid to identify “errors” in the Supreme Court ruling – an appeal that the government has agreed not to obstruct. Should the review conclude that the Supreme Court was erroneous in its ruling, Bibi could find herself thrown back into prison, and may be swiftly placed on death row once again.
This is something that Sen. Paul picked up on in an interview with CNN. Paul noted that “they will probably convict her again” if the ruling is overturned. “And if she goes through all of that — she has already spent eight years in prison on death row, which has to be a horrific experience — I’m worried that she won’t survive.”
Thank you for leading on this issue. Asia Bibi deserves to be protected. https://t.co/ipZQSpQssS
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) November 15, 2018
“I’ve been fighting for them to free Asia Bibi,” Paul continued. “I’ve talked to the President about granting her asylum and refugee status here.”
I spoke with @realDonaldTrump about offering asylum to Asia Bibi. Pakistan must ensure her safety until she is able to depart in the near future. This Christian woman has been persecuted enough! https://t.co/vMr2L0KWiz
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 16, 2018
Paul also stated that was “interested in talking to religious leaders in our country who might be able to raise money to support her and her family to come over here.”
Bibi’s husband Sadiq Masih has said the family is in grave danger and has made several pleas for asylum in the U.K., U.S. and Canada. So far, there have been no official offers of asylum from either of those three nations.
If no-one steps up to the plate and welcomes Bibi into their nation as a refugee, Paul said he is “worried she’ll be killed.”
“We should let her come to our country.”
The radical Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party is the group leading the campaign against Bibi, and is demanding that the Supreme Court decision be reversed. “We strongly oppose even her release. And this is a view of millions of Pakistani Muslims,” said TLP spokesman Ijaz Ashrafi following the ruling.
While many continue to rile up crowds and demand Bibi’s execution, other Pakistani religious leaders have urged that the results of this final review should be accepted. “The verdict of the bench considering the review petition would be final and has to be respected wholeheartedly,” said prominent religious scholar Mufti Ragi Usmani.
There is likely to be a final decision on Asia Bibi’s acquittal sometime next week.
Please continue to pray for Bibi and her family.