Pakistan Christian girl held, accused of blasphemy
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani authorities have arrested a young Christian girl after hundreds of furious neighbors gathered outside her house and accused her of violating the country's strict blasphemy laws by burning pages of the Muslim holy book, police and neighbors said Monday. The girl's age was not immediately clear, with reports ranging from 11 to 16, and some have raised the possibility she might be mentally handicapped.
Under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad or defiling the holy book, or Quran, can face life in prison or even execution. The laws have been an ongoing source of controversy even though those convicted are rarely executed. Rising extremism in the country often means religious minorities live in fear of persecution and accusations of blasphemy.
The latest case exploded on Thursday, when neighbors angry over rumors a Christian girl had allegedly burned a Quran gathered outside her house in a poor outlying district of the capital, Islamabad, said police officer Zabi Ullah. He said the police took the girl to the police station and she is being held for 14 days while authorities investigate the allegations. Several police officers suggested she may also be being held for her own protection.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com