Several countries have offered asylum to the Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, after she was acquitted by the country’s highest court last month of a blasphemy charge carrying the capital punishment. However, local Christians are fearful of repercussions, as the West is perceived as Christian to most Pakistanis.
There were violent protests when the Supreme Court of Pakistan announced its verdict on 31 October, with protesters demanding Asia be hanged and not allowed to travel abroad, though no significant act against Christians took place during these protests.
Asia was released from prison a few days later but the government strongly denied that she had been flown out of the country. Her lawyer, Saif-ul-Malooq, flew to the Netherlands on 3 November and was offered asylum, after which the Dutch embassy in Pakistan received threats and had to close down its operations.