An Italian MEP has launched a campaign to highlight the plight of Asia Bibi who is facing the death sentence in Pakistan.

Antonio Tajani’s initiative, a European Parliament written declaration, seeks to halt the sentence of the mother-of-five who has been in jail since 2010.

His aim is to collect the signatures of more than half of the MEPs for a written declaration promoting religious freedom in Pakistan, and condemning the treatment of Asia Bibi.

With the required number of signatures, the declaration will have the same legal value as a petition and will be sent to the High Representative of the EU and the European Commission.

Bibi was handed the death penalty after being accused of blasphemy by insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammed. The allegation was made after she drank from a vessel used by her Islamic colleagues.

Tajani, a former Commissioner, called on the EU to take “all necessary political and diplomatic action” to secure the release of Bibi and to promote religious freedom in Pakistan.