'New Dawn for Oppressed Minorities' but Religious Hate Rising: 6 Reactions to Asia Bibi's Acquittal

Asia Bibi (R) was sentenced to execution in 2010 after being accused by her former colleagues of blaspheming against the Prophet Mohammad. | (Photo: Reuters)

News of the acquittal of Christian mother Asia Bibi has been greeted as a major success and a "new dawn" by persecution watchdog groups after a nearly decade-long saga.

Fears of religious hatred and violence in revenge attacks were echoed by several groups, who noted that hardliners in Pakistan are protesting and vowing retribution over the Pakistan Supreme Court deciding to free Bibi.

The Christian mother of five was arrested back in 2009 after she was accused by Muslim coworkers of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, something which she denied. In 2010 she was sentenced to death for blasphemy, and had been on death row ever since, sparking years-long campaigns by human rights advocates.

Bibi's family has thanked God for her release after years of uncertainty, but realizations are that she and other Christian minorities in Pakistan are in immediate danger.

Here are 6 reactions to Bibi's release by watchdog groups, a number of them have been engaged in her appeals process:

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