Current Weather
The Spy FM

Bail Granted For Christian Pakistani Girl Accused Of Blasphemy Against Islam

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
September 7, 2012

The young Pakistani girl who has been in custody for about two weeks after neighbors accused her of burning some Islamic religious materials has been granted bail by a judge in Islamabad.

But NPR’s Jackie Northam reports that the bail set today — the equivalent of about $10,000 — is an “enormous sum here in Pakistan.” So it’s uncertain whether Rimsha Masih will be out of jail anytime soon.

As we’ve previously reported, Rimsha has what some news outlets have described as Down Syndrome while others refer to her as “mentally impared.” Her age has been reported as being as young as 11 and as old as 16. In court today, Jackie reports, she was referred to several times as being 14. It’s not clear that she knew what she allegedly burned — or even that she did what she’s accused of. There have been reports that the accusations may have been motivated by some neighbors’ desire to push a small community of Christians out of an Islamabad slum. Protests in the slum following the accusations against Rimsha led the Christians to go into hiding.

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reminds readers today that “the girl has been in custody since she was arrested in a poor Islamabad suburb more than two weeks ago after being accused of burning papers containing verses from the holy Quran.”

As The Guardian has reported, Pakistan’s blasphemy law allows for the death penalty to be imposed if someone is judged guilty of desecrating the Quran or other Islamic materials. And:

“[The law] has a proven track record of ensnaring people on the flimsiest of evidence and being cynically used to intimidate communities or settle quarrels over money and property. Even though no one has yet been executed for blasphemy in Pakistan, long prison terms are common – one Christian couple was sentenced to 25 years in 2010 after being accused of touching the Quran with unwashed hands.”

[Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

2PM to 3PM PRI's The World

PRI's The World

Get a fresh perspective of people, events and trends that shape our world. Host Lisa Mullins covers a wide range of topics, including science, business, technology, sports, art and music.

Listen Live Now!

3PM to 6PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

View the program guide!

6PM to 7PM Marketplace

Marketplace

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center