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Pakistani court grants month’s bail to 2 radical clerics

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2010, file photo, Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman, listens to officials at a prison in Sheikhupura near Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistani media say Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row, has left Pakistan for Canada to be reunited with her daughters. Wilson Chawdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association told The Associated Press on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, he received a telephone text message from a British diplomat stating simply that “Aasia is out.” (AP Photo, File)

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A defense lawyer says a Pakistani court has granted a month’s release on bail to two clerics, leaders of a radical party behind widespread protests last year against the acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case.

Afrasiab Khan says the Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered that Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his deputy, Pir Afzal Qadri, be released on medical grounds for a month.

Rizvi’s Tehreek-e-Labbaik party had long demanded the execution of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy charges last October by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Bibi, who had since her acquittal been under guard at a secret place, was finally allowed to leave Pakistan last week to join her daughters in Canada. She’d spent eight years on death row for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

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