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Blasphemy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 (5:57 pm)

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

“If the accused is [not a Christian but] a Muslim, they have many ways to investigate and try to save them from this…possibly death-sentence carrying blasphemy allegation,” he said.

Cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti has been released.

Cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti has been released.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– A leading rights lawyer says he is “disappointed” that a Muslim cleric who  “falsely” accused a Christian girl of blasphemy has been released, while several Christians remain in Pakistani jails for allegedly hurting Islamic feelings.

“We were disappointed about the judgment of the [Islamabad] court in the case of Khalid Jadoon Chishti. He tempered the evidence by adding Koranic pages into ashes [to blame the girl] Rimsha Masih of blasphemy,” said lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill, director of the Legal Evangelical Association Development group.

Masih, 14, was detained in August 2012 and spent three weeks in one of Pakistan’s toughest jails, but the case against her was eventually quashed amid international pressure.

She moved to Canada, after the cleric himself was accused of “desecrating the Koran” and “tampering with evidence” against Rimsha.

Yet on Saturday, August 17, the court acquitted Chishti of all charges “as six out of eight eyewitnesses retracted… Continue reading

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

The case has underscored the issue of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, which rights groups say are often used  to settle personal disputes or attack religious minorities

Rimsha Masih was accused of blasphemy.

Rimsha Masih was accused of blasphemy.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– A Pakistan court has acquitted a Muslim cleric who accused Christian girl of blasphemy against Islam, before he himself was detained on similar charges, trial observers said.

Khalid Jadoon Chishti, the imam of the local mosque, had accused Rimsha Masih of burning pages containing texts of the Koran, deemed a holy book by Muslims.

The 14-year-old girl was detained in August 2012 and spent three weeks in one of Pakistan’s toughest jails with adult  inmates, but the case against her was quashed amid international pressure.

Soon after, Chishti himself was accused of  “desecrating the Koran and tampering” with the evidence against Rimsha.

He allegedly planted pages of the Koran in a bag full of ash that was seized from the girl, believed to be mentally disabled.

CLEARLIC DETAINED

Trial observers said that though the cleric was detained, he was never formally indicted. His lawyer said the Islamabad court released him Saturday, August 17, after accepting there was not… Continue reading