28 Jan 2015

Refugee status for blasphemy accused

11:54 am on 28 January 2015

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal has upheld the appeal of a woman accused of blasphemy in Pakistan who then hid behind a burqa as she fled to New Zealand.

The woman's sister's family business was then torched by an angry mob.

She and her sister appealed to the tribunal to become refugees while their families remained in hiding in Pakistan.

The woman, who was filling in as a religious education teacher, was accused of deliberately not writing the correct Islamic phrase after the Prophet Muhammad's name in two children's notebooks.

She and her husband were warned they could be sentenced to death.

Her sister said a group of women, posing as Christians, tricked her into criticising Muhammad and the way Muslim men treat women.