International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism
25 November 2018 London
The International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism unequivocally supports Asia Bibi’s right to asylum and protection in a safe country.
We salute the political courage of the lawyer who defended Asia and the judges who ruled in favour of her acquittal in Pakistan. Their respect for human rights and justice for all, despite serious risks to their lives, is commendable.
Whilst Asia Bibi has been released on appeal in November 2018 after 8 years on death row, her life is in danger and she is living in hiding. Islamist groups have been calling for her death as well as the death of her lawyer Saif Ul Malook and the judges who acquitted her. According to news reports, she and her family are being hunted house to house.
Despite her urgent need for refuge, the UK Foreign Office has urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK out of safety concerns. This decision amounts to a gross violation of the very idea of asylum as a human right. Worse still, it signals the complicity of the British government with fundamentalist violence.
The Conference urges the UK Government to grant Asia Bibi protection and asylum. Mob violence must not deter us from defending fundamental human rights.
The conference also urges the release of all those in prison on blasphemy and apostasy charges in Pakistan and internationally and calls for an end to these laws everywhere.