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article imageRimsha case adjourned and sent to juvenile court

By Melissa Horrocks     Sep 24, 2012 in World
Islamabad - A mentally ill Christian girl has had her case adjourned. There was no evidence that the girl desecrated the Noorani Qaida, according to a police investigator in Pakistan. However, accusers want the girl to be expelled from the area where she lived.
Rimsha was very happy living in the area and didn't want to move. If she felt safe in the area, then she would choose to return, according to a Youtube video.
Munir Hussain Jaffri, investigating the case, informed the Islamabad court that his final report demonstrates there is no evidence against Rimsha Masih, reports CP World. It is also entirely possible that a cleric at a nearby mosque could have tampered with evidence by placing pages of the Noorani Qaida into the girl's bag, local media have reported.
Rimsha was brought to court in a helicopter, accompanied by police. She was taken to an undisclosed area after the hearing had finished. Rimsha's parents also received death threats.
Rimsha is believed to have desecrated pages from the Noorani Qaida (a booklet that teaches the basics of the Koran) which is why she was arrested from the Mehria Jaffar area on the outskirts of Islamabad on Aug. 16. Earlier this month, Rimsha was released on bail from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Police also arrested the Muslim cleric, Imam Khalid Jadoon for framing her. Rimsha was also accused of throwing the booklet in the garbage after she had put in a plastic bag. Rimsha's father has said that she would never contemplate such a thing, nor would any of the family. They respect the Koran just as much as they respect the Bible and would not blasphemy in this way.
The cleric had been seen by three witnesses, placing pages of Koranic verses to ashes that the complainant, Ammad, gave him as evidence against Rimsha. The three witnesses pleaded with the cleric not to interfere with the papers, but he replied, "You know this is the only way to expel the Christians from this area."
On Friday, Rimsha was granted bail after spending three weeks in police custody. The bail was set at around £3,300, but the case has not been dismissed. Rimsha was removed from the prison in an armored vehicle on Friday afternoon and then, escorted via helicopter with a sheet covering her face. Anti terrorist squads helped to transport her.
Investigations are under way that will take a closer look at the accusations Rimsha has been accused of. In Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws, it is an offense to burn pages of the Koran. Rimsha is 14 years old, but has a mental age of 11, due to Downs Syndrome. Rimsha is developmentally delayed and this has been confirmed by medical reports.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Pakistani bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace, informed Vatican Radio that the bail was on the high side for Pakistan and definitely above the means for Rimsha's family. However, due to the kindness of individuals, donations will cover the cost. Granting bail was not a charitable measure on the part of the court, but three weeks of keeping a child in custody would raise questions about the Pakistani justice system, Peter Jacob said.
A central executive committee member of the All Pakistan Minority Alliance, a Christian political party, discussed the fears for Rimsha's safety which is why she has been taken to an unnamed, private location, reports, The Catholic Herald.
A judge on Monday demanded that the police refer the case to a juvenile court, following medical reports that declared she was only 14 years old. Rimsha spent three weeks in an adult jail, despite the fact that she is only 14. The case has been disputed and condemned globally.
Police on Saturday informed the court that the girl was innocent and the cleric should face trial instead, reports The Express Tribune.
More about Rimsha, Court case, adjourned, juvenile court, Blasphemy
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