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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 01/16/2013
PAKISTAN
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.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed against Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old Christian girl accused of committing blasphemy. The verdict was announced yesterday during the first hearing, further evidence that the judges are convinced of the girl's innocence. The mentally disabled girl was arrested in August 2012 on the basis of the 'black law'. She was later released on bail and eventually acquitted during her trial.

Reached by phone, Federal Minister Paul Bhatti, currently on a speaking tour of the United States, told AsiaNews that he was satisfied by the decision, which confirms that "Rimsha Masih is innocent".

A special advisor to the prime minister on national harmony, Bhatti said that Pakistani Christians are also very satisfied by the decision because "justice was done," showing once more in a courtroom that "Rimsha Masih is innocent".

Although this period was "stressful and tense, in the end justice prevailed and we got a positive verdict," the Catholic minister said. Rather than spirit away the girl and her family, "we went through the trial and are now satisfied," he added.

The case reached the Supreme Court when Malik Ummad, Rimsha's accuser, sought to re-open Rimsha's case through his lawyers who filed an appeal against the lower court's acquittal.

He had claimed of seeing the girl burn pages of the Qur'an and warned cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti who filed a report with police. Prosecutors had tried to reopen the case to get the Christian girl convicted but failed. Now her accuser is on trial for blasphemy and slander.

The bench that made the final decision included the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honourable Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, and Justices Sh. Azmat Saeed and Gulzar Ahmad.

It took them a single hearing to dismiss the case against the girl, who was represented by Abdul Hameed Rana, assisted by Akmal Bhatti and Tahir Naveed Chaudhary.

The verdict "sends out a positive image of Pakistan in the international community that there is justice for all," said Tahir Naveed Chaudhry.

After her arrest in August on blasphemy charges for allegedly desecrating the Qur'an, a judge in Islamabad ordered the girl released on bail on 7 September. However, the accusations were however false, created by cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti who sought to stir hatred towards Christians in order to seize their assets.

Two months later, on 20 November, the Islamabad High Court acquitted the 14-year-old Catholic girl for not committing the offence.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with AsiaNews on Christmas Eve, the girl, who is in a safe place, launched an appeal with the help of Catholic activists from the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) on behalf of Asia Bibi and other Christian victims of blasphemy. (DS)


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See also
08/30/2012 PAKISTAN
For Islamists, no "sympathy" for Rimsha Masih who must be judged "according to the law"
10/17/2012 PAKISTAN
Rimsha Masih's trial adjourned to 14 November as anti-Christian violence continues
09/13/2012 PAKISTAN
Rimsha Masih trial adjourned. Bishop of Islamabad calls for her acquittal
by Jibran Khan
09/01/2012 PAKISTAN
Pakistan, Rimsha Masih bail hearing adjourned
by Shafique Khokhar
11/20/2012 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Christians happy about Rimsha Masih verdict, Islamists talk about "manipulation"
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
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