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    Pakistani Christian protesters rally to condemn the arrest of Christian woman Asia Bibi in Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010.

    Catholic UK MPs Angry at No Asylum Offer for Christian Woman Held in Pakistan

    © AP Photo / Fareed Khan
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    A group of politicians and campaigners have written to the UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, urging him to grant asylum to Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted in a blasphemy case.

    Labour MP Mar Creagh, one of the signatories, said it was a "mark of shame that Britain has failed to offer Asia Bibi."

    Bibi was put on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan almost ten years ago, following allegations by Muslim women she worked with that she insulted Prophet Mohammed. Bibi denied the claims but was jailed and sentenced to hang on November 11, 2010.

    The mother of three was eventually set free, following years in jail, after the Pakistani Supreme Court overturned the conviction last month.

    The woman is being held in Pakistan, after Imran Khan's government agreed to allow a petition challenging the court decision that had angered religious extremists in the country, actively opposing Bibi's release by organizing rallies in several large cities.

    Pakistani protesters burn a poster image of Christian woman Asia Bibi, who has spent eight-years on death row accused of blasphemy and acquitted by a Supreme Court, in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
    © AP Photo / Pervez Masih
    Pakistani protesters burn a poster image of Christian woman Asia Bibi, who has spent eight-years on death row accused of blasphemy and acquitted by a Supreme Court, in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018

    Bibi's husband has appealed to the UK government, among others, to grant asylum for his wife. Downing Street has not yet agreed to do that, which prompted a number of Catholic politicians and activists to send a letter to Jeremy Hunt.

    "This startling hostility towards Asia Bibi within the UK could be one reason Britain did not offer asylum and perhaps this it is more thoughtful than it first appeared and a kindness after all," Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said.

    The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi pose with an image of their mother while standing outside their residence in Sheikhupura located in Pakistan's Punjab Province (File)
    © REUTERS / Adrees Latif
    The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi pose with an image of their mother while standing outside their residence in Sheikhupura located in Pakistan's Punjab Province (File)

    Former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague argued that he would refrain from making any assumptions about what the government may or may not be doing with regards to Bibi's case.

    "In my experience decisions like these are incredibly complicated and in some cases dependent on absolute secrecy. No sensible Minister would say anything in public," Hague added.

    Bibi's case is supported by the Vatican, while Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini recently suggested that Rome was working "discretely" with other Western countries on her case.

    Related:

    Italy Vows to Do 'Everything Possible' for Pakistani Woman in Blasphemy Case
    Christian Pakistani Woman Seeks UK Asylum After 'Blasphemy' Acquittal
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    Asia Bibi, United Kingdom, Pakistan
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