Emmanuel Macron will receive Friday, February 28, the Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010 and acquitted eight years later before finding refuge in Canada, who once again expressed the wish to obtain asylum in France, a indicated the Élysée.
“As we have always said, France is ready to welcome Ms. Asia Bibi and her family to France if that is their wish,” said the presidency, announcing that the Pakistani woman would be received on Friday at the Élysée Palace.
Currently in Paris to present there this week his book of testimony Finally free !, Asia Bibi said Monday on RTL that living in France was his “desire”.
“Obviously, I want the President to hear my request” for asylum, she added, hoping to have the opportunity to meet Emmanuel Macron and his wife during his stay in Paris, which takes place under protection because of the threats it remains the target.
“Since her conviction in 2010 for the offense of blasphemy, France has been mobilized alongside Asia Bibi,” said the Élysée. “We pleaded for his acquittal and acted, with our European and Canadian partners, for his effective release”.
“France is the country where I received a new life […] Anne-Isabelle is like an angel to me, ”explained Asia Bibi, referring to French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, with whom she wrote her autobiographical book and hopes to continue working.
Asia Bibi should receive on February 25 in the afternoon from the hands of the socialist mayor of the capital Anne Hidalgo, the diploma of honor from the City of Paris which was awarded to her in 2014. It should be her first public appearance . She is also scheduled to meet journalists over the weekend.
Sentenced to death for “blasphemy”
A farm worker and mother in her 50s, Ms. Bibi had been sentenced to death for “blasphemy” following an argument with Muslim villagers over a glass of water.
Blasphemy is an inflammatory subject in Pakistan, where simple accusations are sometimes enough to lead to murderous lynchings. After spending more than eight years on death row in Pakistan, until her acquittal in October 2018, she has lived in Canada since May 2019.