Pakistan: Christian Girl Arrested On Suspicion Of Blasphemy


(RFE/RL) — A Christian girl said to have Down’s Syndrome has been arrested over accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan.

Police officers said the girl, reportedly in her teens, was detained on August 16 in the predominantly Christian neighbourhood of Meherabadi in the capital Islamabad after locals said they saw her burning pages of the Koran.

Police said local residents took the girl, named as Rimsha, to the police station where she has been detained since.

A conviction of blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.


Human rights activists say the antiblasphemy laws are open to abuse and are often used to settle petty disputes.

Officials said hundreds of Christians in Meherabadi have fled their homes due to fears of a backlash from the Muslim population.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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