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But it's not a lost cause. The book was recently released in the United States, which sends money to Pakistan. Because of that, the United States could exert pressure on the Pakistani government.

If she is released, where will she go?

She will have to leave the country immediately. Several European countries have granted her asylum: Spain, Italy, France.

How is Asia's story affecting Pakistani Christians?

I don't think it has changed a lot for them. They knew before her case that they could have trouble if they didn't respect Islam. Maybe now they are more careful during Ramadan. And when they go outside, women make sure they wear the veil because they don't want any Muslims to say they don't respect Islam.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is supportive of the blasphemy law. Is there any hope of an eventual change to the law?

No. With the new group (Sharif's administration) it is impossible. I don't have any hope.

The blasphemy law fits the definition of terrorism. It's a terror law. It's a way to instill terror. Everybody is scared of this law.

A year ago, more than 500,000 people from 100 countries signed a petition to the government of Pakistan to pardon Asia. What happens to efforts like these? Are they effective?

Pakistan is very proud and doesn't want to listen to or to be interfered with by the West.

I think the best thing to do is to buy the book because if the book is a big success, people will be talking about it, and the Pakistani government will know Asia Bibi's case has interested people in the United States. And the royalties go to her family. If they have enough money, she will be treated better by the guards in her prison.

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Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death Over a Cup of Water
Chicago Review Press
2013-08-26
160 pp., $14.45
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