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blasphemy laws

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