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Italy ‘would offer job’ to Pakistan blasphemy woman

ICC Note

Itlay said it hopes for Asia Bibi to be granted clemency by Pakistan. The Italian foreign minister promised to give her a job once she is released.

11/25/2010 Italy (ANSA) – Rome, November 25 – Italy is ready to offer asylum and a job to a Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan for derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Thursday.

“If she were freed, and we hope so, Italy is ready to offer her a job (here),” Frattini said.

Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five, was sentenced to death by hanging on November 8 under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws but her supporters are hopeful President Asif Ali Zardari will grant her clemency.

Earlier this month, during a visit to Islamabad, Frattini pressed for Bibi’s case to be reopened during talks on alleged discrimination against Pakistan’s four million Christians.

Frattini said afterwards: “Perhaps we have saved her”. Frattini added that he had received a “commitment” from Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani to have the country’s blasphemy laws changed.

The Italian government has launched a drive to ensure religious freedom for Christians in Muslim countries and is presenting a draft resolution to the United Nations.

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