Pakistan’s top court has ruled to release a woman who was on death row for allegedly insulting Islam. Pakistanis have demanded she be put to death during massive protests, and the decision has reportedly sparked new rallies.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad and sentenced to death eight years ago. The court ordered the woman’s release on the condition that she is not wanted for any other charges.
The landmark decision, announced Wednesday morning, effectively challenges an earlier conviction by the Lahore High Court.
Bibi’s case triggered massive demonstrations across Pakistan calling for the woman to be executed. Islamic political party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), which organized the rallies, warned against freeing Bibi or reducing her sentence.
Wednesday’s decision has sparked fresh unrest. People gathered in Karachi and some roads were blocked in Baldia Town. Local police, however, have not officially linked the rallies to the court ruling.