Pakistan’s latest victim of the notorious blasphemy laws, is an 11 year old girl suffering from Downs Syndrome. Rimshah Masih was taken from her mother by an angry mob intent on killing her.
Burnt religious texts mysteriously appeared in a bag she was carrying, suspected by rights activists to have been planted by members of the mob. Worldwide condemnation and demands by the Pakistani Government to take action to stop this ongoing discrimination, persecution and hatred towards minorities living has done little to change the situation. Christian advocacy groups have called on the US and British Governments, the EU and the UN to intervene on behalf of this poor child and to bring about her immediate freedom.
“As the rest of the country goes about its way, having just celebrated another joyous Eid, spare a thought for a little girl with special needs, languishing in a juvenile jail," lamented a Christian outside her home. “She is probably all alone, and scared. With her condition, she very well might not even know the reason she is in there."
“But ask her neighbors, some who are frothing at the teeth to have a go at her, and they will tell you that she deserves to die," he said wanting to remain anonymous out of fear for his life.
Perhaps the first bit of good news, if one can call it that came on Tuesday when a medical examiner confirmed that she is indeed a minor, offering some hope that if her case proceeds, at least she will be tried as a minor and not an adult.
Regardless, the blasphemy law and charges against her are undoubtedly false and majority of the time, they are used to intimidate and settle vendettas against the scared Christian minority in 98% Muslim and increasingly Talibanized Pakistan.
“The girl and her mother were severely beaten by an enraged mob that had converged outside their house, while the rest of her family managed to flee. If the police had not intervened, there is no telling what else could have happened,” reported a neighbor.
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