May 8 (UPI) -- Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row over blasphemy charges, has moved to Canada, her attorney said Wednesday.
Bibi's charge was overturned by Pakistan's highest court last year, but she remained in jail and was moved to various safe houses for fear of reprisals. The former farm worker was convicted in 2010 of speaking against Islamic Prophet Muhammad during an argument with Muslim women.
Bibi's family has remained under protection due to threats from Islamic extremists, who have already killed two Pakistani politicians for publicly supporting her and criticizing Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Protests led by members of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik movement turned violent after Bibi's conviction was overturned, destroying public property and burning cars throughout Pakistan, where blasphemy is punishable by death or life imprisonment.
Pope Francis and his predecessor, People Benedict XVI, called for Bibi's release in February. Francis described her as a "martyr." Bibi wrote Get Me Out of Here in 2012, in which she encouraged her family not to lose "faith in Jesus Christ."
Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director of Amnesty International, praised Bibi's departure from Pakistan but urged the country to address its blasphemy laws that he said tends to target its Christian minority.
"It's a great relief that Asia Bibi and her family are safe," Waraich said." She should never have been imprisoned in the first place, let alone faced the death penalty."