» 08/30/2012, 00.00
Islamabad, Islamic leaders challenge medical report, call for punishment of Rimsha Masih
Postponed to 1 September - the deadline for custody - a decision on the release of a minor mentally disabled Christian, indicted for blasphemy. In the court, legal experts and Muslim scholars have challenged the Commission's report. The girl is blasphemous and must be condemned. Fears for her safety. Protests by Christians.
(AsiaNews) - A court in Islamabad, under pressure from religious leaders in the
courtroom, has postponed to September 1 the trial for blasphemy against Rimsha
Masih, a Christian girl of 13 who is being held in prison for burning pages of
the Koran . The
Islamist front, through a lawyer, presented a report that disputes the results
of the medical committee, who declared her a minor with - unspecified - mental disabilities.
tension was palpable in the court, increasing security concerns for Rimsha's
safety, whose life now appears increasingly endangered.
sources report that tomorrow Judges will review the report submitted by counsel
for the Muslim religious leaders, who claim Rimsha is 14 and not mentally
disturbed, so she must answer for her actions. On
September 1st the judges will announce their decision, in a court -
most likely - reinforced for safety reasons. According
to procedure the accused must be present at the trial, at the end of her period
of preventive detention, which expires September 1st. However,
the emerging threats to Rimsha Masih's security are giving rise to fears that fanatic
or extremist groups are planning to kill her.
Masih is charged under the "black law" for having burned pages
printed with verses from the Koran. She
could face up to life in prison and retaliation from elements close to the
fundamentalist Taliban. They have
repeatedly carried out extra-judicial murders of persons indicted for
judges have to decide whether to grant her release, after a court appointed
medical board determined that the girl is under 14 years of age and shows a
mental age lower than her chronological age (see AsiaNews 28/08 /
Rimsha Masih, minor with mental problems. Bishop of Islamabad: a positive outcome). However
no details are given about the nature of her mental disabilities.
outside the court in Islamabad Christian activists, groups and movements demonstrated
to demand the girl's release. The
Avaaz organization has launched an international campaign calling for Rimsha
Masih's release. The child has become an
icon in spite of herself just as Asia Bibi, in the fight against the infamous blasphemy
law in Pakistan. About
fifty members of Life for All brandished placards with the inscription:
"More than 20 thousand people in the world demand freedom for Rimsha
Rimsha Masih trial postponed until 17 October, the three witnesses against imam retract
The judge postpones hearing because of prosecution lawyer's absence. Despite her innocence, the disabled Christian girl is still on trial for blasphemy. The witnesses who said the evidence against the girl had been tampered have now retracted their original statement. They claim they were tortured and pressured to testify against Khalid Jadoon Chishti.
As silence falls on the imam behind the blasphemy, Rimsha Masih's case goes to juvenile court
A court in Islamabad refers to juvenile court the case of the Christian teenager with mental problems. Next hearing is set for 1 October. For Mgr Rufin Anthony, she should be acquitted. The affair is a test case to stop abuses. After the anti-Muslim movie affair broke out, no one is willing to talk about the Muslim leader who fabricated the evidence against the girl.
07/09/2012 PAKISTAN - ITALY
"I am very happy for my daughter's liberation," Rimsha Masih's father tells AsiaNews
In an interview with the family of the girl accused of blasphemy, who was released today on bail, Misrek Masih said, "my world collapsed. I was scared." He thanks APMA activists for their work. Faith in Jesus helped him find hope. Paul Bhatti thanks his brother Shabbaz for showing "me the path to follow."
Pakistan, Rimsha Masih bail hearing adjourned
The Islamabad court will decide on bail for disabled Christian girl accused of blasphemy on September 3. The National Commission for Justice and Peace reopens the debate on education in Pakistan and denounces: in Punjab and Sindh 2012-2013, textbooks filled with hatred and false history against Hindus, Christians and people of India.
Pakistani Christians happy about Rimsha Masih verdict, Islamists talk about "manipulation"
For the bishop of Islamabad, the ruling is a "great development." Now a law to end blasphemy abuses is needed. A Lahore priest sees the decision as a legal milestone. Islamists however are angered, blaming the government for putting pressures on the court.
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