THE Conservatives are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to grant asylum to Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who spent eight years on death row.
Michelle Rempel, Conservative Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, said in a statement on Monday: “Canada’s humanitarian immigration system should prioritize the world’s most vulnerable, like those fleeing war and persecution. Today, Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau government to use every mechanism at his disposal to offer the Bibi family asylum, and to encourage the Pakistani government to allow Bibi to travel freely in light of recent negotiations with the extremist TLP party which could see authorities bar her from leaving the country.
“Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges. While the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn the case is heartening, the threat to Asia’s life continues. Since her case was overturned, angry mobs have been protesting and calling for her death. We know that these are not empty threats as the Federal Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was murdered in 2011 simply for calling for Bibi’s release from prison. If action is not taken to ensure the safety of the Bibi family, I fear that their lives will also be in danger.
“The issue of minority rights has been top of mind for Conservatives. Under our previous Conservative government, then-minister Jason Kenney supported now deceased Minister Shahbaz Bhatti’s efforts to defend Asia Bibi. Senator Salma Ataullahjan has also been outspoken about Asia Bibi’s case for many years.
“We must never take for granted the principles of freedom of thought, speech, and religion. We must redouble our efforts to defend them, and Justin Trudeau should act immediately to grant asylum to the Bibi family.”