ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman who was acquitted after spending eight years on death row on blasphemy charges has appealed to President Trump for refuge, citing the danger to the family's life.
Ashiq Masih, the husband of Asia Bibi, whose case has outraged Christians around the world and has been a source of division within Pakistan, also sought assistance from Britain and Canada.
The appeal came after police said they had arrested more than 150 people on charges of fire, vandalism and violence during protests that erupted after Ms. Bibi's acquittal. A senior police officer, Nayab Haider, said on Sunday that officers were using a video to identify other people involved in committing assaults, burning property and vehicles and blocking roads, The Associated Press said.
The Tehreek-e-Labaik Islamist party blocked the main roads of Pakistan's largest cities for three days, calling for the assassination of Supreme Court justices who absolved Ms. Bibi on Wednesday and appointed Prime Minister Imran Khan and to the head of the country's army, the enemies of Islam. .
Tehreek-e-Labaik suspended the protests on Friday night after reaching an agreement with the government that could get the authorities to move to put Ms. Bibi on an "exit checklist" that prohibited her from leaving of the country and open a review of the verdict.
"I ask the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to help us out of Pakistan," Masih said in a video recorded by the British Pakistani Christian Association and seen by Reuters.
"I also ask the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to help us," he said. "I also request the Prime Minister of Canada." He also requested help on behalf of his brother Joseph Nadeem, who helped with Ms. Bibi's case.
The Embassy of the United States and the high commissions of Great Britain and Canada in Islamabad did not respond immediately to a request for comments on the video.
On Saturday, Ms. Bibi's lawyer, Saiful Mulook, told Reuters he had left Pakistan, fearing for his life and the safety of his family.
Ms. Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after being accused of making derogatory comments about Islam when neighbors objected to drinking water from her glass because she was not Muslim. She has denied having committed any blasphemy.
His case caught the attention of Salman Taseer, the governor of the province of Punjab. He was killed by his bodyguard in 2011, after waging a public campaign to save Ms. Bibi's life and change the blasphemy laws, a move that angered her bodyguard. Tehreek-e-Labaik was founded from a movement to support the murderer of Mr. Taseer, who was hanged in 2016.
The federal minority minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, was also killed after asking for the release of Ms. Bibi.
The location of Ms. Bibi is unknown, but Tehreek-e-Labaik has warned the authorities not to remove her from the country.
"There will be a war if they send Asia out of the country," said party leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi after the agreement with the government was reached.
The Islamist parties have characterized Ms. Bibi's release as the government of Pakistan that is sinking into Western demands.