» 12/20/2012, 00.00
Rimsha Masih: My Christmas close to Asia Bibi and victims of blasphemy
"I'm happy," says the girl, "I would like as a gift for the holidays nice clothes and sneakers." The desire to return to school, but the problem of her safety remains. Her father thanks Jesus, Paul Bhatti and the government, but warns: "we feel in danger." Rimsha and family send greetings to Pope Benedict XVI and wish him and all Christians of the world, "Merry Christmas."
Rome (AsiaNews) -
In this time of Advent in preparation for Christmas, "I ask Catholics, the
West, the international community to help all Christians in prison, victims of
the blasphemy laws." This
is the appeal, given to AsiaNews, of
Rimsha Masih, a Christian minor suffering from mental problems who was arrested
because of the "black law" last August and then cleared. For
weeks, her story occupied Pakistani newspapers and world media, garnering solidarity
and participation inside and outside the country. Thanks
to the work of the Federal Minister Paul Bhatti, supported by the Muslim
community and the government in Islamabad, the story - for the first time - has
resulted in a positive outcome. A
few days before the holidays, Rimsha and family wanted to send "greetings
to Pope Benedict XVI and all Christians of the world."
September 7, the judges of the court of Islamabad ordered
the release girl's on bail. She was arrested in August on charges of
blasphemy, accused of desecrating the Koran. In
reality it was a false charge staged by Imam Khalid Jadoon Chishti, who acted
with the intention to create resentment towards the Christians and seize their
a little more than two months, November 20, the Islamabad High Court acquitted
the 14 year old Catholic, because the crime did not exist. Following
the ruling, the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony Paul
Bhatti spoke of "happiness and satisfaction." He
considered the verdict a "precedent" whereby the law "can not be
used for personal purposes" and "those who put forward false
accusations, are likely to suffer the same fate and be tried."
14 year old girl is currently in a safe place together with her family, under
the protection of the Pakistani government and Catholic activists of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA),
an association founded by Shahbaz Bhatti - former Minister for Minorities, who
was assassinated by Islamic extremists - and now led by his brother Paul. Reached on the telephone by AsiaNews, Rimsha was playing
with her brothers. She laughed several times during the interview and confirmed an
atmosphere of relative calm. After
a difficult period, says the girl, "I'm happy now." "This
Christmas - she adds - I thank God for saving me and Jesus Christ for helping
words show the simplicity of a young girl whose life was turned upside down by a
terrible accusation and who asks, after all, only for things to return to
Christmas - continues Rimsha - I would like to get nice clothes and a pair of
adds that another great desire is to "be able to return to school." And
then the call, addressed to all Christians, the West, the international
community: "I ask you to support and assist all Christians - she concludes
- who are in prison because of the blasphemy laws," including Asia Bibi, to "be close to
Masih, father of Rimsha, thanks "Jesus for saving us" and addresses a
thought to "the minister Paul Bhatti and his entire organization [APMA] for
supporting us. A prayer also dedicated to the Pakistani government, which has ensured our protection. " He
adds, however, that the family "still do not feel safe" and
"still fear for their fate". As
a result, this Christmas we wish to be able to "find a refuge in a foreign
country, because here we still feel threatened." "We
can not leave quietly - said the father - our life is always in danger,
extremist groups might strike. We strongly desire to start a new life
the difficulties, dangers and threats, Rimsha and family wait with joy and
anticipation for the holidays and they ask to end our conversation with a
series of greetings. "We
want to wish Merry Christmas to the Pope - the girl, her parents and siblings chime
in chorus- and all the Christians of the world, and we thank you very much for
the support we received. Again, Merry Christmas."
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.
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.
Catholics and Muslims fasting and praying together for Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih
Peaceful demonstrations took place today in Lahore and Islamabad to show solidarity with "persecuted Christians" and demand justice for the victims of the "black law". For a Lahore priest, the rallies are an "encouraging" response of civil society. "Disgusted" by the situation, a Muslim activist expresses his in solidarity for "our Christian brothers and sisters."
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"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.
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