Pakistan blasphemy case girl with Down's syndrome examined by doctors and declared her to be 14 years old
Posted: 08/29/2012 at 2:02pm
Her lawyer claims that she is unable to respond to police questioning
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- Doctors in Pakistan have examined a young Christian girl with Down's syndrome, who has been imprisoned on blasphemy charges, and declared that she was just over 14 years of age, rather than 11, which had been originally reported.
According to Shamim Masih, Pakistani ANS correspondent and a human rights campaigner who attended the court hearing today (Tuesday, August 28, 2012), the girl, Rimsha Masih, was also said by her lawyer in the bail hearing that she was "unable" to respond to police questions because of her limited mental capacity.
The case has now been adjourned until Thursday, August 30, 2012, and Mr. Masih told ANS, "There was a large crowd outside the court and also "a few media persons were seen there, but most of them were not Pakistani."
He added, "It is sad that local media is not picking up this case."
The girl is being held in a maximum security prison after an angry mob accused her of desecrating pages of the Koran. But her supporters say she has been wrongly accused.
Police say the girl was arrested last week in a Christian area of the capital Islamabad, after a crowd of people demanded that she be punished for allegedly desecrating pages of the Muslim holy book.
Pakistan's Minister for National Harmony, Paul Bhatti, has said she is innocent and should be released. He told the BBC earlier: "The police were initially reluctant to arrest her, but they came under a lot of pressure from a very large crowd who were threatening to burn down Christian homes."
According to the BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad, Rimsha's lawyer said that when he saw her in jail over the weekend she wept and begged to be released.
Her parents have been taken into protective custody following threats, and many other Christian families are reported to have fled the neighborhood.
Source: (ANS) www.assistnews.net