Blasphemy accused Pak minor `denied meeting with lawyer`

Pakistani Police arrested Rifta Masih last Thursday after she was accused of burning pages from the Holy Quran.

Updated: Aug 24, 2012, 13:09 PM IST

Islamabad: A lawyer for the 11-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, who was arrested on blasphemy charges - prompting international outrage - has claimed that he had been refused a meeting with her.

Police arrested Rifta Masih, who reportedly suffers from Down’s Syndrome, from a low-income neighbourhood of the capital last Thursday after she was accused of burning pages from the Holy Quran, and remanded her for 14 days in the juvenile section of Adiala jail, reports The Express Tribune.

Rifta is presently being held in a jail in Rawalpindi.

"I myself contacted the inspector general (of prisons) by phone and he told me that he will call me back, but I am still waiting to speak to him. He is not receiving my calls now. Legally, they can`t stop a lawyer seeing his client in the jail but the authorities are refusing us a meeting," said Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, one of Rifta`s lawyers.

But inspector-general of Punjab prisons, Farooq Nazir, said there was no restriction on Rifta meeting her lawyer or immediate family and said she was being cared for.

Chaudhry said Rifta`s mother would move a bail application on Friday for the release of her daughter.