Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, has been awarded an honorary citizenship of Paris by the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo.

The mayor’s statement said receiving the award is a “rare distinction granted to the world’s most emblematic defenders of human rights. We must support Asia Bibi, because women in all regions of the world are the first victims of an order which theocrats, who twist the messages of all religions, try to impose”.

Asia Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly making derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed during an argument with a Muslim woman.

In November 2014, World Watch Monitor reported that the judges who heard her appeal explained they had no choice but to uphold her sentence, based on a legal technicality. The court’s now asked law-makers to remedy this by rewriting the law.

Her fate now lies with her final appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court.