25 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/07/2012
PAKISTAN
Paul Bhatti: " joy and satisfaction” for Rimsha Masih’s release (on bail)
The Catholic Pakistani politician praises work of police and government, which led to the release of the mentally disabled child arrested for blasphemy. He thanks APMA lawyers, the ulema and investigators because they have helped to maintain the peace and justice. She will be ruinited soon with her family.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - A court in Islamabad, "has ordered the release on bail" of Rimsha Masih, the mentally impaired child, arrested in recent weeks as a result of (false) accusations of blasphemy. The news was confirmed by Paul Bhatti, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony, who descried to AsiaNews the "joy and satisfaction" of the entire Pakistani community, Christian and non Christian, because "justice has been done." The Catholic politician who holds the post of federal minister, says that the courts have set the sum for his release "at 500 thousand rupees" (about 4 thousand euro) and she will soon be under "the protection of the Ministry for National Harmony and APMA lawyers"- Association All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, founded by Shahbaz Bhatti, minister for religious minorities assassinated in March 2011 by Islamic extremists - who "have worked most to achieve this. "

In his first reactions to the news, given to AsiaNews, Paul Bhatti says that "justice was done" through hard work "carried out behind the scenes" in an attempt to avoid tensions and riots. To achieve the goal, says the Catholic minister, the work of the Ministry of the Interior, the government in Islamabad and the ulema, the Muslim religious leaders was "vital", who made every effort to "maintain calm and the search for truth. "

"Our special and well deserved thanks - says the leader of the State Council for National Harmony - goes to the police and investigators who worked hard and well, with a special mention for the police chief in Islamabad." The minister says the positive outcome gives "a positive image of Pakistan and Islam," which has averted possible abuses related to the blasphemy laws. It now remains to solve the situation of hundreds of Christian families fled their homes when the story erupted, for fear of retaliation by the lunatic fringe. "Some people have returned to their homes - says Paul Bhatti - and are quietly getting on with things. Anyway we are working for the rehabilitation of the entire community in their area of ​​origin or by moving them to an area made available by the Archdiocese of Lahore" which has "offered" to receive displaced persons.

On 31 August, the judges of the court of Islamabad extend Rimsha Masih's terms of custody by two weeks. The Christian girl suffers from mental problems and was accused of blasphemy for reportedly having desecrated pages containing verses of the Koran. Under the Pakistan Penal Code she risked life imprisonment and, on several occasions, feared retaliation from elements close to the fundamentalist Taliban, who have repeatedly carried out extra-judicial murders of persons indicted for blasphemy and attacked family members or persons to the same community of the accused.

This morning, the court assessed the application for bail presented by APMA lawyers, who have been by the family's side from the outset in their struggle for justice, after a medical committee confirmed to the court that the girl is under 14 years of age, but displays a far younger mental age (see AsiaNews 28/08/2012 Blasphemy, Rimsha Masih, minor with mental problems. Bishop of Islamabad: a positive outcome). This was disputed by the Islamists, who pushed for charges to be laid against her, challenging the medical report (see AsiaNews 30/08/2012 Islamabad, Islamic leaders challenge medical report, call for punishment of Rimsha Masih).

However, in a dramatic development police that has further Rimsha's case for her innocence, police arrested Khalid Chishti Jadoon, the imam who denounced the Christian girl for the alleged burning of pages containing verses from the Koran. On Aug. 31 a courageous witness in a sign of marked civic responsibility, identified by the name of Hafiz Zubair, found the strength to appear before investigators and denounce Chishti for slander. The religious leader had in fact falsely and in a very deliberately accused Rimsha Masih of violating the "black law", by planting false evidence against her.

September 1, police arrest him on the same charges he had laid against the Christian child, blasphemy, for desecrating the Koran, and now he faces a sentence of up to life imprisonment. According to preliminary reports, the imam added the pages of the Koran to burnt paper that the child was carrying, which the witness had given him just before, thus accusing the young girl in his efforts to spark a witch hunt against Christians and force them flee the neighborhood in order to take possession of their property. (DS)

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/31/2012 PAKISTAN
Islamabad: Rimsha Masih remanded. Paul Bhatti optimistic for release
by Jibran Khan
12/20/2012 PAKISTAN
Rimsha Masih: My Christmas close to Asia Bibi and victims of blasphemy
by Dario Salvi
09/13/2012 PAKISTAN
Rimsha Masih trial adjourned. Bishop of Islamabad calls for her acquittal
by Jibran Khan
07/06/2009 PAKISTAN
Faisalabad, Christians and Muslims investigating case of young man charged with blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix
09/12/2012 PAKISTAN
Islamabad: Rimsha Masih, a disabled blasphemous Christian child, on trial tomorrow
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.