The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the blasphemy charge against an 11-year-old Christian girl who was accused of blasphemy and arrested for allegedly burning pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran.
The girl, named Rifta Masih, had burned a Noorani Qaida on August 16 and had thrown it in garbage after putting it in a plastic bag. Masih belonged to the rural area of Mehrabadi, which is next to the G-11 sector in Islamabad.
In a statement, the commission said that “the fact that the girl is a juvenile and suffers from Down’s Syndrome only makes the charge more preposterous and barbaric.”
The statement further stated that “it is also extremely disturbing to note that the police allowed a mob to surround the police station and demand that she be handed over.”
The spread of extremism and the authorities’ preference for appeasing charged mobs, rather than taking the correct and lawful course, should make those in power as well as other political forces take serious note. It is deplorable that the country’s political leadership refrains from speaking out against extremism and the injustices towards non-Muslims.
The HRCP called upon the authorities to “immediately release” the girl and provide foolproof protection to her family and the “frightened Christian community” in the area.