Friday, 24 August 2012

Church, Government, imam committed to save Rimsha, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy

Fides news service carries two updates on the case of the young Downs Syndrome girl imprisoned in Pakistan facing an allegation under that country's blasphemy law.

Church, Government, imam committed to save Rimsha, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy

Rimsha: Hearing for the release, the focus is on the Medical Commission

Particularly noteworthy is the following, taken from the first of these reports:
Muslim leaders have not accepted, as requested by the radicals, to launch anathemas from the pulpits of mosques and "incite the assault of Christians": this has prevented a bloodbath. Nevertheless, the situation is tense, and the police ensure the safety of Christians living in the suburb, in Rawalpindi, where, among about 700 families, Rimsha’s family lived.
The last paragraph of the second report raises a completely different aspect to the case:
Bhatti [Paul Bhatti, president of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony] also condemns the behavior of the NGO "World Vision in Progress Foundation," which yesterday presented at the same court a request for bail, but without the official commission from the victim’s family, creating "ambiguity and confusion." According to Bhatti, the judge annulled the previous request from the NGO. "These organizations try to exploit and commercialize these tragic cases," he adds. Also according to Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf, Director of the Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Episcopal Conference, "The request of bail is not a good idea, since it exposes the girl to the danger of a small extrajudicial killing." A final release, however, would also open the possibility of her transfer abroad.
UPDATE: reporting here of the protest at the Pakistani High Commission in London, organised by the British Pakistani Christian Association.

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