Pakistan’s ‘Blasphemy Girl’ Remains in Detention

Posted September 3rd, 2012 at 4:55 am (UTC-5)
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The bail hearing of a Pakistani Christian girl arrested more than two weeks ago on blasphemy charges was adjourned Monday and rescheduled for Friday, leaving the girl in detention at least until then.

The judge adjourned the hearing because of a lawyers' strike.

The girl, Rimsha Masih, was arrested by police after angry neighbors surrounded her house in Islamabad, accusing her of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Quran.

On Saturday, police arrested a Muslim cleric on suspicion that he planted evidence against the girl. The arrest was made after members of his mosque alerted police.

Under Pakistan's blasphemy law, anyone who speaks ill of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed commits a crime and faces the death penalty.

The girl is about 14 years old and has Down syndrome.

Human rights activists say Pakistan's blasphemy law is sometimes used to harass religious minorities.