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Imam charged with planting evidence in Pakistani blasphemy case

Catholic World News - September 03, 2012

In Pakistan, a controversial legal case has taken a spectacular turn, as an Islamic leader has been arrested for allegedly planting evidence of blasphemy on a mentally disabled Christian girl.

Imam Khalid Chishti is charged with inserting pages of the Qu’ran into a primer that Rimsha Masih had burned. The imam reportedly said that a blasphemy charge would be a “way of getting rid of Christians.”

Rimsha Masih remains jailed on blasphemy charges, although a medical panel has raised questions about whether she can be held responsible for her actions. Islamic radicals have demanded that she be prosecuted, and threatened both the girl and her family.

The Catholic bishops of Pakistan issued a statement saying that full discovery of the truth in this case would be “a gain, not only for the Christian community, but for the whole of Pakistan: it is a boon for democracy, for justice, for the respect of the law and the rights of all citizens.” Father Emmanuel Yousaf, a spokesman for the bishops’ conference, said that false accusations of blasphemy have often produced grave injustices.

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  • Posted by: rpp - Sep. 03, 2012 9:47 PM ET USA

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