Dutch MP says Asia Bibi has been released, is heading for Europe

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The Dutch foreign ministry has declined to comment on reports that Asia Bibi, the Christian Pakistani woman acquitted on blasphemy charges has been released and is heading for the Netherlands.

Various reports say Bibi may have left Pakistan for the Netherlands, which was reached by her lawyer earlier this week.

ChristenUnie MP Joel Voordewind has told Dutch media he is sure Bibi is heading for Europe but could not confirm that the Netherlands is her end destination. He bases his claim on sources in Pakistan and on conversations with her lawyer Saif ul-Mulook.

Ul-Mulook arrived in Amsterdam on Monday and told a news conference later that he  hopes the Netherlands will ‘invite him’ to stay. He was helped to reach the Netherlands by Dutch charity Stichting Hulp Vervolgde Christenen (HVC), which has also helped to finance Bibi’s legal defence.

‘The Netherlands calls itself a champion of human rights,’ he said. ‘If this country cannot protect me, I would rather go back to Pakistan to allow myself to be murdered by religious fanatics,’ local media quoted him as saying.

Ul-Mulook said he feared for his life in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad, because of a lack of evidence. She had spent eight years on death row.

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