Protests erupt in Pakistan after Supreme Court acquits Christian woman of blasphemyhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/protests-erupt-in-pakistan-after-supreme-court-acquits-christian-woman-of-blasphemy-5427046/

Protests erupt in Pakistan after Supreme Court acquits Christian woman of blasphemy

Eight years after she was sentenced to death for blasphemy, the Pakistan Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered Asia Bibi to be freed.

Protests break out after Pakistan's SC acquits Christian women facing death for blasphemy

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy against Islam, a ruling likely to set off mass street protests by hardline Islamists. (Source: AP)

Protests break out after Pakistan's SC acquits Christian women facing death for blasphemy

Asia Bibi, a mother of four, has been living on death row since 2010 when she became the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws. (Source: AP)

Insulting Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere rumor of blasphemy can ignite lynchings. At least 1,472 people were charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws between 1987 and 2016, according to statistics collected by the Center for Social Justice, a Lahore-based group. (Source: Reuters)

Protests break out after Pakistan's SC acquits Christian women facing death for blasphemy

Asia Bibi's case has outraged Christians worldwide and been a source of division within Pakistan, where two politicians who sought to help Bibi were assassinated. (Source: Reuters)

Protests break out after Pakistan's SC acquits Christian women facing death for blasphemy

Bibi’s case also has been high on the agenda of religious hardliners in Pakistan, many of whom are fiercely opposed to her release. (Source: AP)

Protests break out after Pakistan's SC acquits Christian women facing death for blasphemy

Rights groups say the blasphemy law is exploited by religious extremists as well as ordinary Pakistanis to settle personal scores. (Source: Reuters)

The ultra-Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which makes punishing blasphemy its main campaign rallying cry, earlier this month warned the court against any “concession or softness” for Bibi. (Source: AP)