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Pakistan: Muslim cleric who accused Christian girl of blasphemy is set free

Catholic World News - August 20, 2013

A Pakistani court has acquitted Khalid Jadoon Chishti, a Muslim cleric, of blasphemy charges.

In 2012, Chishti accused Rimsha Masih, a mentally handicapped Christian girl, of desecrating the Qur’an. After months of imprisonment, she was acquitted.

Witnesses accused Chishti of desecrating the Qur’an in order to plant evidence against the girl. The Express Tribune, a newspaper based in Karachi, reported that the witnesses recanted their earlier testimony and said that police had forced them to make statements against Chishti.

The Fides news agency reported that Chishti’s acquittal has led to “bewilderment and bitterness” among the nation’s Christians, who fear a new round of false accusations of blasphemy.

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