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Case against Pak Christian girl accused of blasphemy dismissed

Islamabad, Nov 20 , 2012 (PTI) 14:16 IST
In this photograph taken on September 8, 2012 Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy sits in helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi. A Pakistan court on November 20, 2012 threw out all charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy in a case that drew international condemnation, lawyers said. Rimsha Masih spent three weeks on remand in an adult jail after she was arrested on August 16 for allegedly burning pages from the Koran in a case that prompted worldwide condemnation. AFP
The case filed against a young Pakistani Christian girl, who was detained for three weeks after being falsely accused of blasphemy by an Islamic cleric, was today dismissed by a court here, amid global condemnation.

Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman of the Islamabad High Court, who had last week reserved his judgement on 14-year-old Rimsha Masih's petition seeking the dismissal of the FIR against her, directed police to drop the complaint.

The judge observed that this was a "highly sensitive matter" and people must be very careful while levelling such accusations against anyone.

Fake allegations should not be levelled against any Muslim or non-Muslim, he remarked.
In a 15-page judgement that included references from the Quran, the Chief Justice said no one had seen Rimsha burning any pages of a religious text.

Rimsha's lawyer Akmal Bhatti told reporters that the court had quashed the case and declared his client "innocent".

Paul Bhatti, the only Christian minister in the federal cabinet, confirmed that the case had been thrown out by Islamabad High Court.

Rimsha was arrested under the harsh blasphemy law from a low-income neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad on August 16 after her neighbour Malik Ammad accused her of burning pages from a religious text.

Khalid Jadoon Chishti, the imam of the local mosque, claimed she had burnt pages of the Quran.

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