Blasphemy accused Aasia Bibi shifted for security reasons

Last Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 20:56

Islamabad: After the Taliban freed nearly 250 prisoners in a brazen jailbreak in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistani authorities have shifted a Christian woman accused of blasphemy to a high security prison in Punjab province.

Aasia Bibi was shifted to the women`s prison at Multan in southern Punjab amidst high security on Wednesday, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted its sources as saying on Thursday.

She is being held in a separate cell and will be allowed out for only two hours a day.

During the time she is let out of her cell, no other prisoner will be allowed to walk around the jail, the sources said.

Round-the-clock security has been ensured at Aasia`s cell.

Aasia, 32, faced death threats after the Taliban attacked the jail in Dera Ismail Khan on Sunday night and freed 243 prisoners, including many hardened militants.

Fourteen people, including six Shia prisoners, were killed during the jailbreak.

The Tribune reported that Sheikhupura Jail near Lahore, where Aasia was held earlier, was vulnerable to a siege-like attack.

Officials said Aasia faced threats from not only militants but from within the prison.

As a precautionary measure, the security of the prison in Multan was upgraded before Aasia was shifted there.

Death threats for people accused of blasphemy have increased over the past few months.

Aasia was sentenced to death in November 2010 after she was convicted of alleged blasphemy. She was accused of blasphemy by some Muslim women after a quarrel in June 2009.

Rights groups have called for changes in Pakistan`s controversial blasphemy law, saying it is often misused to settle personal scores and to persecute minorities like Christians.


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First Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 20:56

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