Pakistan dismisses blasphemy case against Christian girl

Featured - November 21st, 2012

A Pakistani court dismissed a blasphemy case on Tuesday against a 14-year old Christian girl who allegedly burned pages of the religious text of Islam.

Rimsha Masih was charged under the country’s controversial anti-blasphemy laws in August but was granted bail in September after authorities arrested Muslim cleric Khalid Jadoon. Jadoon was believed to have framed the girl to stir up resentment against Christians.

The Islamabad High Court decided to dismiss the case based on the fact that no on had seen her burning pages of the Koran, Tahir Naveed, Masih’s lawyer, told Reuters.

The case drew international condemnation and raised concerns about the rights of religious minorities in the predominantly Muslim country, particularly under the contentious law with only a thin line that separates them from possible execution, such as the fate of the young girl.

There have been almost 250 blasphemy cases brought under the law since 1987 and figures are rising, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies. Over 50 people had been killed after being accused of blasphemy since 1990, mostly by angry mobs rather than death convictions.

Two senior government officials were shot, one by his own bodyguard, after suggesting reforms of the law.