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10-Rimsha-Masih

Blasphemy charges dropped against young Christian girl in Pakistan

A Pakistani court has dropped all charges of blasphemy against Rimsha Masih

By Nida Hamid

A Pakistani court has dropped all charges of blasphemy against Rimsha Masih (above), a young Christian girl from the slums outside of Islamabad.

There was global outcry when the young girl, believed to be no older than 14, was arrested for allegedly burning pages of the Qur’an back in August. She was released from the adult prison where she was being held in September after a Muslim prayer leader was arrested on suspicion of framing her for this blasphemous crime.

The case sparked international concern and a call for reform on Pakistan’s strict law against blasphemy. The Islamabad High Court’s decision to drop all charges was based on a lack of witnesses as they found no one actually saw her desecrate the holy book. If the charges had not been not dropped Rimsha could have faced execution.

There is a call for reform on the treatment of those accused for blasphemy in light of Rimsha’s plight. Her supporters claim that she is only 11 years of age and suffers from Down’s Syndrome, however, a medical report concludes that she is 14 but with a younger mental age.

Rimsha and her family have not been seen since her bail was granted in September, yet there is confirmation from her lawyer, Tahir Naveed that she has been freed from jail and is now in a ‘safe place’ with her family.

Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chisti, the Muslim prayer leader accused of framing Rimsha, has been arrested for desecrating the Qur’an and tampering with evidence. The ruling of this case has brought embarrassment to Pakistan and has highlighted that the law against blasphemy be carefully looked over as thousands are arrested and convicted each year under this law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pakistani court has dropped all charges of blasphemy against Rimsha Masih, a young Christian girl from the slums outside of Islamabad.

 

There was global outcry when the young girl, believed to be no older than 14, was arrested for allegedly burning pages of the Koran back in August. She was released from the adult prison she was being held in, in September after a Muslim prayer leader was arrested on suspicion of framing the young girl for this blasphemous crime.

 

The case sparked international concern and a call for reform on Pakistan’s strict law against blasphemy. The Islamabad High Court’s decision to drop all charges was based on a lack of witnesses as they found no one actually saw her desecrate the holy book. However, if charges were not dropped then Rimsha could have faced execution.

 

There is a call for reform on the treatment of those accused for blasphemy as Rimsha receives great sympathy from around the world. Her supporters claim that she is only 11 years of age and suffers from Downs Syndrome, however, a medical report concludes that she is 14 but with a younger mental age.

 

Rimsha and her family have not been seen since her bail was granted in September, yet there is confirmation from Masih’s lawyer, Tahir Naveed, that she has been freed from jail and is now in a “safe place” with her family.

 

The Muslim prayer leader accused of framing Rimsha, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chisti, has been arrested for desecrating the Koran and tampering with evidence. The ruling of this case has brought embarrassment to Pakistan and has highlighted that the law against blasphemy needs to be carefully examined as thousands are arrested and convicted each year because of it.

 

 

 

 

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