News Alerts

07 Nov 2018 | 11:08 PM UTC

Pakistan: Possible protests Nov. 8 following release of Asia Bibi /update 9

Pakistan News Alert

Asia Bibi, recently acquitted in a blasphemy case, departs from Pakistan following release from jail; nationwide protests possible on November 8

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/7/2018, 12:00 AM until 11/11/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Karachi). COUNTRY/REGION Pakistan

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Event

Asia Bibi, the Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy charges, was released from jail around 00:00 (local time) on Thursday, November 8. According to her lawyer, she departed the country shortly afterward for an unknown location. A resumption of protests, which previously shut down major cities and transportation routes across the nation, are possible in the coming hours and days. An increased security presence is possible; transportation disruptions and low-level violence (clashes with security forces, vandalism) cannot be ruled out.

Context

Mass demonstrations broke out on October 31 after the Supreme Court acquitted Bibi, resulting in clashes with security forces, roadblocks, and rail and flight disruptions across the country. Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders, who were instrumental in organizing the unrest, agreed to end mass protests after government officials promised to initialize the process to place Bibi's name on the Exit Control List (ECL), thereby blocking her from leaving the country.

Advice

Individuals in Pakistan are advised to closely monitor developments, prepare for associated transportation disruptions (including flight delays and cancelations), minimize nonessential movements, be prepared to shelter in place, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and refrain from discussing sensitive religious and political topics in public.

 

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