I forgive my accusers, Asia Bibi mentioned in an interview

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ASIA BIBI, the Pakistani Christian who has been on death row for nearly a decade and accused of blasphemy, said she "forgave everyone" and was not angry with her accusers.

In her first radio interview since her release, Ms. Bibi told Radio 4 Today today that she was proud of her country for liberating her and one day hoped that it might be possible to return.

Ms. Bibi was acquitted in November 2018, more than eight years after she was sentenced to death at a fountain for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad during a dispute with her neighbors (News, November 19, 2010). The original verdict was overturned by a three-member jury that sparked protests by Islamic extremists in Pakistan (News, October 31, 2018).

She left Pakistan and arrived in Canada in May, four months after her acquittal was upheld by the Supreme Court of Pakistan (News, May 10, 2019).

"Demonstrations started in my country, but it was my country that freed me," she said. "It makes me proud that I was liberated from my country. . . Things are getting better, things are changing and I can imagine that one day God will take me back and give me the chance to see my country again. "

Ms. Bibi, Roman Catholic and has five children, was in France to write for her book "Finally Freed!" To advertise, which she wrote together with the French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, who had campaigned for her release. In it she remembers how she put her neck in a clip that was tightened with a key and pulled on a chain by guards. The Pakistani government dismissed the lawsuit as implausible.

PAAsia Bibi met with French President Emmanuel Macron last Friday at the Élysée Palace in Paris

When she first talked about her ordeal, she said, “It was very difficult. I suffered. Many people have tried to mislead me. They said, "Change your belief and you will be free." But I said no. I will live my sentence with my faith. "

She asked the Pakistani government and its Prime Minister Imran Khan, who defended the country's blasphemy laws, to review the country's judicial system. "Innocence should not be punished for no reason, and people who are innocent in prison should be released," she said. "Both parties should be properly interviewed during an investigation."

Ms. Bibi was neither interviewed nor allowed to speak during her trial, she said. "I was very scared. I couldn't even imagine anything like that happening to me. I went to the court and the judge never heard my side of the story. I kept hoping that I could speak – I asked even, but they sentenced me to death. "

Despite her experience and the impact she had on her family, she said, “I'm not angry at all. I forgave everyone from the bottom of my heart. And there is no hardness in me I am patient because I learned to be patient when I had to leave my children behind. "

Ms. Bibi later told Open Doors anti-persecution charity that God had told her that she would be tested. "When I was born, the priest said to my mother:" This girl is being tested by God. "And my parents kept telling me this story, so I knew it would happen one day."

She had never doubted God. "My faith was always strong because my family had a lot of dedication, but it grew stronger because I now know that God is with me – and God will not leave you alone: ​​He is always with us."

Bishop of Truro, Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, told the Today program that the British government should take a "proactive stance" on the abuse of the blasphemy law. “Often these laws are applied at a local level in a thoroughly vengeful way to resolve local issues and local disputes – the case of Asia Bibi is a prime example of this – but unfortunately it is by no means the only one.

"The government should exert considerable pressure to exert pressure both locally in the country and in bilateral discussions at government level."

It should also give up his mantra to respond to "need, not creed" with British help. “Internationally, we choose a religiously blind approach, and to be honest, it's a religiously illiterate approach, because saying that we focus on necessity, not creed, ignores the fact that creed ignores it Can make people significantly more vulnerable if they are in a minority situation. "

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