The lawyer of Asia Bibi, Saif-ul-Malook, had a nice day on Tuesday. The Pakistani Supreme Court finally relieved his client of blasphemy.

It is not easy to interview the Islamic lawyer. The telephone connection with Pakistan is poor and it does not have much more than ten minutes. The man sounds tired and gives short, somewhat measured answers.

Can you say something about how it went on Tuesday in court?

“It was a very special day. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of 31 October 2018 that my client Asia Bibi was acquitted of blasphemy. A beautiful day for her, for myself and actually for humanity. There has been sympathy from all over the world. ”

How did Asia Bibi react?

“Of course she was very happy that her case is not being reviewed. But it is protected by the government and could not be present in court. ”

Last time your client was not yet free to go and stand where she wanted. Now it is?

“She spent the last few months in a safe house in Islamabad, because her life is in danger in Pakistan. Now that she has been finally acquitted, she can move freely. But it is 100% sure that she will leave our country. It is waiting for the right papers and then she leaves for Canada. That’s where her children live and she is welcome there. The Canadian government arranges its transfer. I expect she can leave any time. ”

After the acquittal of Asia Bibi at the end of October you fled to the Netherlands. You recently returned to Pakistan. Is it safe for you in your country now?

“No.”

You will not be secured?

“I just stay at my old address that is publicly known. The “security” keeps an eye on my home and office, but otherwise I do not have personal security. Allah protects me. ”

You are not afraid of extremist Muslims who want to kill you?

“Yes. But I have no choice. I want to commit myself to my country and especially to Christians charged with blasphemy. I want to assist Shagufta Kausar who has been stuck for four years. She was arrested together with her husband Shafqat Masih and is on death row. Her case is similar to that of Asia Bibi and I want to plead her freely. ”

How do you look back on the period that you stayed in the Netherlands?

“Asia Bibi was overjoyed when she could leave the prison. To a lesser extent I experienced the same, because the Netherlands felt oppressive for me. I did not know the language and culture and of course I missed my family.

I would like to come back again. I have been nominated for a Dutch human rights prize. If that is granted, I hope to receive it. “

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