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US senators call for release of Pakistani girl held on blasphemy charges

Catholic World News - September 03, 2012

Six US senators have signed a letter calling for the release of Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl imprisoned in Pakistan on blasphemy charges.

“As you know, last week a young, mentally-disabled Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, was taken into custody in Islamabad for allegedly burning pages inscribed with verses from the holy Quran and was charged with blasphemy a crime that could be punishable by life in prison or death,” the senators said in their letter to President Asif Ali Zardari.

“The mere allegation has forced Christians to flee her neighborhood due to fear of retribution,” they continued. “We remain deeply concerned that the law continues to victimize innocent people. We urge your government to do more to prevent abuse, as blasphemy allegations have resulted in the lengthy detention of, and violence committed against, Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus and other religious minorities, as well as members of the Muslim majority community.”

The signatories of the letter were Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

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