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Pakistani Imam arrested and charged for planting burned pages of the Koran on Christian girl arrested for blasphemy

Pakistani Imam arrested and charged for planting burned pages of the Koran on Christian girl arrested for blasphemy

Rimsha Masih could be a step closer to freedom with new evidence that attempted to frame her with blasphemy and send her to jail.

Pakistani police detain a Muslim cleric for allegedly planting evidence on the young girl, which various conflicting medical reports say she is either mentally impaired or has Down’s syndrome.  None of the reports agreed as to how old Rimsha is chronologically, either, but state she is either uneducated or mentally around the age of four.

The case stirred up anger concerning Blasphemy Laws and people against such laws protested the young girl’s arrest.

Whatever the truth, experts said Ms. Masih’s plight highlighted a wider problem. “This case exemplifies the absurdity and tragedy of the blasphemy law, which is an instrument of abuse against the most vulnerable in society,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.

Muslims are allegedly protesting Imam Khalid Chishti arrest, stating he is a victim and the courts should punish the young girl, threatening unrest if the Imam is charged.

"Pour petrol and burn these Christians," said Iqbal Bibi, 74, defending the imam on the steps of the mosque where he preaches in Masih's impoverished village of Mehr Jaffer.

"The cleric of the mosque has been oppressed. He is not at fault. He is innocent."

A judge brought the Imam into court in a blindfold and shackles concerning allegations of telling others that they intentionally tampered with the girl’s bag and the planted evidence on her in an effort to strengthen their accusations against her and as a way of “getting back at Christians”.

"The imam was arrested after his deputy Maulvi Zubair and two others told a magistrate he added pages from the Koran to the burnt pages brought to him by a witness," an investigator Munir Hussain Jaffri said.

He said Mr Zubair and some others had told the imam not to interfere, urging him to "give the evidence to the police as he got it".

According to Mr Jaffri, Imam Chishti had told them: "You know this is the only way to expel the Christians from this area."

The investigator said the cleric had been arrested at his home on Saturday underPakistan's blasphemy law.

"By putting these pages in the ashes he also committed desecration of the Holy Koran and he is being charged with blasphemy," he said.

The judge sentenced the Imam to a fourteen-day judicial reprimand in jail.

The Rimsha’s attorney stated that the court should acquit her of the charges and release her immediately, because it was "fully proven that it was a conspiracy".

However, if she returns to her village, she might be in danger from the Muslims in her community.  Under Pakistani law, the charge of blasphemy is death, but if the courts do not carry out the sentence, despite finding the accused innocent, members in the public may still execute the person.  Christians make up four percent of Pakistan’s population and fear for their lives, because the law gives them no protection and if the judge finds Rimsha innocent and releases her, she and her family probably will not return home due to lack of safety.

Convictions for blasphemy often hinge on witness testimony, but most testimonies are based on vendettas and abuse of blasphemy laws.

However, Rimsha is expected to released, but many Christians left the area already in a mass “exodus”.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Uzoozy

    From the first day I heard the news. I thought it seems she was innocent
    A 11yr old is a child she should be sent to a safe place with her parents.
    How can Muslims ever think of doing such a henious crime..
    There must be hundered of Rimsa's age kids around, how would the parents react if someone deliberately did that to their kids.
    May Allh give the people patience and tolerance.

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