Pakistan blasphemy suspect 'denied meeting with lawyer'

Image

ISLAMABAD: August 23, 2012. (AFP) A lawyer for a young Pakistani Christian girl arrested on blasphemy charges in a poor suburb of Islamabad claimed Thursday he had been refused a meeting with her.

Police arrested the girl, Rimsha, who reportedly has Down's Syndrome, in a low-income neighbourhood of the capital last Thursday after she was accused of burning papers containing verses from the Koran, and remanded her for 14 days. Rimsha, aged between 11 and 16, is being held in a jail in Islamabad's twin city Rawalpindi, and her case has prompted concern from Western governments and fury from rights campaigners. "The lawyers are facing difficulties to see the accused girl. The jail authorities have told them to get permission from the top authorities," Shamaun Alfred Gill, a spokesman for All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), told AFP. Her legal team said they had approached the higher authorities in Punjab province but could not get a go ahead for the meeting. "I myself contacted the inspector general (of prisons) by phone and he told me that he will call me back, but I am still waiting to speak to him," Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, one of Rimsha's lawyers, told AFP. "He is not receiving my calls now. Legally, they can't stop a lawyer seeing his client in the jail but the authorities are refusing us a meeting." But Farooq Nazir, the inspector-general of Punjab prisons, told AFP there was no restriction on Rimsha meeting her lawyer or immediate family and insisted she was being cared for. Rimsha is being held in the same jail as Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who last year gunned down Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who had declared Pakistan's strict anti-blasphemy legislation "a black law". Chaudhry said that they have also filed an application with a court in Islamabad to set up a medical panel to determine Rimsha's age. "We want the court to constitute a commission to judge the age of Rimsha, because, the church records show she is 11 years old only. While her age mentioned in the police report is 16," he said.

You May Also Like

Image

Pope Francis pleads with Catholics not to gossip

Vatican City: (CNA) Pope Francis implored Catholics Sunday not to gossip about one another’s faults, but instead to follow Jesus’ direc

Image

Pope Francis sends condolences after death of Cardinal Simonis

Vatican City: (CNA) Pope Francis offered his condolences Thursday after Dutch Cardinal Adrianus Simonis died at the age of 88.



The cardin

Image

Pope Francis: The cross reminds us of the sacrifices of the Christian life

Vatican City: (CNA) Pope Francis said Sunday the crucifix we wear or hang on our wall is not supposed to be decorative, but a reminder of God&rsquo



"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com