29 August, 2014 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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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.