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>> Pakistan's Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam. The court freed Asla Bibi, a mother of four, on Wednesday. She had been living on death row since 2010, when she became the first woman to be sentenced to death under the country's blasphemy laws.
Bibi was convicted after allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam to her neighbor. Supporters of the Islamist TLP party immediately condemned Bibi's acquittal, blocking roads in several major cities. The party's leader even called for the dismissal of the country's Prime Minister, Imran Khan. And as Reuters Drazen Jorgic explains, it's a polarizing issue in modern Pakistan.
>> This is a landmark case for Pakistan in many ways. Legally, it's extremely rare for a blasphemy conviction to be overturned, and culturally, it goes to the heart of which way Pakistan is heading as a country. Many from the more liberal side of Pakistan who want it to become a more tolerant society oppose the blasphemy laws.
And say, they have become abused and a way for the majority Muslim population and the hard line Islamists to persecute the minorities.>> In 2010, the case outraged Christians worldwide, leading to protests as far away as Rome. Since then, tensions have so high at home that two Pakistani politicians who supported Bibi's release have been assassinated.
Dozens around the country have also been murdered by mobs enraged by rumors of blasphemy.>> More recently, a Pakistani student, Mashal Khan, was lynched by a mob of other students after he was accused of blasphemy. The government said the allegations against Mashal Khan were simply false and he never made those comments, but he was killed nonetheless.
>> Human rights advocate say the country's laws against insulting Islam prophet are regularly exploited to settle personal scores.