Blasphemy accused Pak-Christian woman may be shifted to women-only jail for safety

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Lahore, Jan 18(ANI): Aasia Bibi, the Pakistani-Christian woman sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, may be shifted to an all-women prison due to security concerns.

The Punjab government is likely to shift Aasia from Sheikhupura district jail to an all-women jail in Multan, The Express Tribune reports.

The transfer will take place at night under heavy security within the next seven days.

In Sheikhupura, there were fears that male prisoners could hurt her, but she would be safe in a women-only jail, a jail department official said.

The Punjab Home Department would direct the Inspector General of Police to provide heavy security for the transfer, he added.

A 45-year-old Christian woman and a mother of five, Aasia was sentenced to death by an additional district and sessions judge in Sheikhupura last year for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

The incident took place on June 14, 2009, and an FIR was registered against her under 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code in the Saddar Police Station of Nankana Sahib town on June 19 of the same year.

There have been concerns over Aasia's safety following the brutal assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer.

Earlier this month, Taseer was assassinated by Qadri, one of his own elite security force protectors, who opened fire on him when he was moving towards his car in Kohsar Market, Islamabad.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Qadri had confessed to assassinating Taseer because of the governor's support for Aasia's release. (ANI)

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