Blasphemy accused girl to be treated as a minor
An OFFICAL medical review of a Pakistani Christian girl accused of desecrating the Koran has determined she is a minor, her lawyer has said.
This means she will be tried in the juvenile courts and could avoid the hefty sentences of life in prison or even death which apply in blasphemy cases in Muslim Pakistan
The accusations have inflamed religious tensions and sparked a mass exodus of Christians from the girl’s neighbourhood who feared retribution from their Muslim neighbours.
Her lawyer, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, said the medical board determined she was 14 and had a lower mental age, though the cause was not given.
Mr Chaudhry said a bail hearing is scheduled for Thursday, and that he would move to dismiss the case after the hearing, saying there was “no solid evidence” against the girl.
He said he saw her on Saturday in the Rawalpindi prison where she is being held and that she was “weeping and crying”.
The girl was accused by a neighbour of burning pages from the Koran, Islam’s holy book. But many aspects of the case have been in dispute since the incident surfaced a little less than two weeks ago, including her age, whether she was mentally impaired and what exactly she was burning.
The lawyer said a church birth certificate put her age at 11, but in the end the medical board determined she was 14.
Generally, birth certificates must be issued by the Pakistani government to be considered legal documents.
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