» 09/13/2012, 00.00
Rimsha Masih trial adjourned. Bishop of Islamabad calls for her acquittal
This morning the judges adjourned the session allowing more time for the investigators to conclude and submit their report. The defendant was not present in court for security reasons. Her fate is linked to the case against the imam who falsified evidence, the first hearing scheduled for September 16.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - An Islamabad court has adjourned the trial of Rimsha
Masih, a Christian child with mental illness, arrested and imprisoned on charges
of blasphemy, who was not present in court for security reasons. This
morning, at a brief hearing, the judges emphasized that investigators have yet
to complete the investigation on the matter and close the file, which is why
they opted for a referral, even if the date has not yet been decided. The bishop of the capital Msgr. Rufin Anthony,
speaking to AsiaNews,
has launched a new appeal for the
release of the girl: "We ask
the judges - says the prelate - for her immediate acquittal" because she has not committed the crime.
fact, experts say the fate of the girl and the routines of the case will depend
very much on the parallel case against Maulana Khalid Chishti Jadoon, the
Islamic religious leader who mounted false accusations to incriminate the young
Christian and hunt the entire community from the area for seize their properties.
first hearing of the trial against the Muslim cleric is scheduled for September
16 and expectations are already mounting as increasingly it is being seen as linked
to the public debate for the "revision" of the blasphemy laws, which are
too often exploited - as in this case - to target innocent people. A
story that could become a "milestone" in the history of Pakistan and
give rise to a change that puts an end to the "abuses" arising from
the "black law". A
battle, we recall, for which Shahbaz Bhatti, Catholic Minister for Minorities
massacred by fundamentalists March 2, 2011, and before him, the governor of
Punjab Salman Taseer, who was killed by his bodyguard sacrificed their lives.
the judges have preferred to adjourn Rimsha Masih's trial, who has been hidden
in a secure location to avoid possible reprisals by the fundamentalist fringe. The
court has granted another day to the police to complete the investigation, and
are still waiting the girls lawyers plea,
who have not yet asked for an acquittal. A
decision that has raised some surprise, but it is - most likely - due to the
desire to understand what direction will the prosecution of Khalid Chishti
Jadoon will take.
The Bishop of Rawalpindi
/ Islamabad Rufin Anthony told AsiaNews,
has undergone a process of Islamization, particularly in terms of the misuse
and abuse of the blasphemy laws contained in section 295-C, an offense that is
punishable by death. The use of this bylaw has creating an environment where
some religious fanatics believe that they are entitled to take law into their
own hands. There have been many instances where the local administration and
police have either collude with perpetrators or have stood by and do nothing to
assist the accused, themselves fearing the crowd. The use of the blasphemy law
has become a quick way of resolving disputes arising from business rivalry,
honor disputes, disputes over money and property. Those accused of blasphemy
face the very real threat of assassination whilst on trial or on bail. There
have been many examples of extrajudicial killings, threats to life, revenge
being taken by communities in response to the accusations."
7 September, the judges decreed her release on bail, greeted with satisfaction
by Christian leaders and her family in an interview with our newsagency (see
AsiaNews 07/09/2012 "I
am very happy for my daughter's liberation," Rimsha Masih's father tells
AsiaNews, and Paul
Bhatti: " joy and satisfaction" for Rimsha Masih's release (on bail)).
Her freedom cost one million rupees (about 9 thousand euro) and any possible refund depends on the
defendant's presence in court at the hearing in which the closure of
investigations will be decreed.
For Islamists, no "sympathy" for Rimsha Masih who must be judged "according to the law"
A Muslim legal expert says it is wrong to "take sides" for the girl who must be punished if she is guilty. "Let us pray for Rimsha and her family," says Islamabad bishop. The government should use the case as "an example" and take the "right measures" to stop abuses, he adds. Fears remain for the fate of 600 Christian families that fled their homes.
Supreme Court upholds Rinsha Masih's innocence, Paul Batthi satisfied
Pakistan's highest court rejects prosecutors' appeal. For the Christian girl's lawyers, the verdict "sends out a positive image of Pakistan". Paul Bhatti tells AsiaNews that they did not flee but placed their faith in the justice system.
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.
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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