Pak activists fear Christian girl`s jail ordeal will `go on forever`

Last Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 - 18:11

Islamabad: A court in Islamabad has extended the judicial remand of a minor Christian girl who was arrested on charges of blasphemy to 14 days, after the investigation officer requested for more time to conclude the investigation.

During the proceedings on Friday, when the judge asked the investigation officer to produce the case`s challan, the officer said the investigation had not been concluded and requested for more time.

The court, granting the police`s request, extended the girl`s judicial remand.

The girl, Rimsha Masih, who is said to be suffering from Down Syndrome, has been held since August 16 under the strict blasphemy laws, prompting international outrage.

Earlier on Thursday, the court of district and sessions judge Islamabad Justice Jawad Abbas adjourned the bail hearing for Rimsha, prompting human rights activists to make fresh calls for her release.

Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested over her arrest.

"This will go on and on and this little minor girl will rot in jail. We want her out of jail. We want her under protection," said human rights activist Tahira Abdullah.

A medical test conducted on Rimsha revealed her age to be around 14, but possessed mental capacities of someone below that age. Rimsha is also said to be uneducated.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive subject in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the 180 million population are Muslims, and allegations of desecrating the Holy Quran or insulting Islam often provoke public fury.


First Published: Friday, August 31, 2012 - 18:11

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