Islamabad High Court acquitted, Rimsha Masih of blasphemy charges on Tuesday, 20th of November.
The 14-yr old Christian girl was charged of committing blasphemy, as she was accused by her neighbors of burning pages of Quran, in August this year.
The FIR against Rimsha Masih was terminated this week, as she was alleged of carrying incinerated sacred Islamic texts near her home. As a consequence of which the incriminated teenager faced blasphemy charges under the section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, and was imprisoned for three weeks in an adult jail after she was arrested on 16th of August.
This high-profile case evoked international condemnation against the religious laws, which have been susceptible to exploitation and false accusations. The claims of Rimsha suffering from Down’s Syndrome aroused sympathies for her globally. In a striking development three of the officials of the local mosque, named the Mullah of the hood for deliberately depositing the pages of Muslim Holy Book among the charred refuse, Rimsha had been carrying; wherefore she was granted bail in September.
Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, Rimsha’s lawyer unfolded that the testimony of a police officer was critical as the officer told the court in a hearing that no potential evidence was found against Rimsha. “It is very difficult to change these laws in Pakistan,” he said. “But this judgment will set a precedent so that other cases can be properly investigated and pursued.”
“While I’m thrilled to hear the charges have been quashed, my foremost concern at the moment is her safety,” said Tahira Abdullah, a rights activist in Islamabad. “Others have been acquitted before but they have not lived to tell the tale.”
This aftereffect of the incident is contentious relations between the Muslims and Christians of Mehrabad. The Christian population has been reduced in the area as many of families preferred to relocate to other areas of the capital, amidst safety concerns.