Blasphemy: Rimsha's bail plea hearing adjourned till September 3

The hearing was taking place in a sessions court.


Afp September 01, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A young Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy must wait until at least Monday to learn if she will be given bail, after a judge adjourned her case on Saturday amid doubts over legal paperwork.

Rimsha has been in custody since she was arrested in a poor Islamabad suburb more than two weeks ago accused of burning papers containing verses from the Quran, in breach of Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws.

Judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned the case to Monday and asked police to investigate a bail application made on Rimsha's behalf after prosecutors claimed paperwork had not been signed by the girl or her mother.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Rimsha's lawyer Tahir Naveed Chaudhry accused prosecutors and lawyers for her accuser of delaying tactics.

"The medical report has declared her an underage person with low IQ. How can she commit blasphemy? She is innocent and should be released," he said.

A medical report earlier this week said Rimsha appeared to be around 14 years old, which would make her a minor, and had a mental age below her true age, but the court has yet to decide whether to accept the assessment.

Some reports have said Rimsha has Down's Syndrome and her case has prompted concern from Western governments and anger from rights groups, who warn the blasphemy legislation is often abused to settle personal vendettas.

Blasphemy is a very sensitive subject in the Pakistan, where 97 percent of the 180 million population are Muslims, and allegations of insulting Islam or the prophet Mohammad often prompt a furious public reaction.

COMMENTS (37)

Asok | 8 years ago | Reply

Release the girl. Repeal the law.

M.Ahmer Ali | 8 years ago | Reply

What the shameful act and attitude of police and judiciary by showing effrontery and meanness with an innocent and immature 11 years' old girl,by sending her in Adiala Jail whereas in Western countries there are welfare departments (sub-jails) for teenage criminals, who has been misused,misguided and betrayed by the wrongful hands against Islam and muslims instead of tracing the real culprits who misused,misguided and betrayed her for their negative objectives against Islam and the muslims...... Wow what the excellent and august live example of justice and equality with innocent and teenager persons in Pakistan!!!!!!

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