Government extremely concerned for Asia Bibi’s fate

In response to parliamentary questions, foreign minister Bert Koenders has let it be known that the government regrets the sentencing to death of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman accused of having insulted the prophet Mohammed, and that the Netherlands is extremely concerned for her fate.

The Netherlands will continue to press for justice for Bibi, together with other organisations campaigning on her behalf, Mr Koenders writes. Immediately following the Pakistani court’s judgment, the Dutch ambassador to Pakistan raised the issue with Pakistan’s foreign ministry and also broached the subject with its parliament.

Mr Koenders stated that the Netherlands will continue to use every opportunity to draw the Pakistani authorities’ attention to Bibi’s situation. Blasphemy legislation and the death penalty will continue to be raised both bilaterally and in an EU context.