Rimsha Masih is a young Christian girl, believed to be developmentally disabled and around eleven years in age, who faced charges in Pakistan for allegedly burning sacred Muslim documents; a crime punishable by death in that country.
Ramish Masih was arrested in August 2012 after a local cleric, Mohammad Khalid Chisti, said she had burned pages of the Noorani Qaida, a religious book used to teach the Holy Quran to children. Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside of the police station where Masih was being held, demanding she face formal charges.
According to published reports that after announcement form mosques of Meherabadi slum area of capital city of Islamabad, calling Muslims to come out of homes to punish a blasphemer, the mob of Muslims dragged Remisha Bibi, 11 years old disabled Christian girl and her mother in street and started beating them before handing them to Ramna Police Station.
The Islamic clerics after Friday Prayers of Ramadan in mosque issued decree to burn alive burn alive on August 17, 2012, on which Muslim mob gathered outside Ramna Police Station demanding Remisha to handover to them for burning alive.
The Muslim mob after failing to take Remisha for punishment on blasphemy from police turned to Mehrabad and started setting Christian homes. As mob has burnt down three homes and a Church, the Christian fled from the area locking their homes to save their lives.
There are more than 250 Christian homes in slum area of Meherabadi who were living peacefully from decades with Muslim neighbors.
Remisha, a mentally disabled Christian girl of age 11 years, was collecting papers from street and burning them when a Muslim shopkeeper started shouting "She is burning Holy Quran pages"
Remisha Bibi has never gone to school and not knew about any blasphemy law like more than one thousand other Christian inhabitant of this slum area who earn their living by cleaning streets or working in homes.
It is shameful that Ramna Police Station have changed age of Remisha Bibi in First Information Report FIR to trial her under Section 295 B PPC of blasphemy law which can be upgrade to Section 295 C PPC in charge sheet for subject to death penalty.
The case took a turn in September 2012, when police arrested Chisti and charged him with fabricating evidence against Rimsha Masih. Rimsha Masih has since been cleared of the charges against her. However, Rimsha and her family will feel the consequences of the charges forever, as they along with many Christians living nearby have already relocated from their home and live in hiding in fear of vigilante retribution.
On June 30, 2013, it was announced that Rimsha and her family had safely relocated to Canada.
We appreciate role of civil society to support displaced Christians after sad incident and voice against blasphemy law and immediate release of minor Christian girl accused of blasphemy.
To learn more about Persecution in Pakistan and Blasphemy Laws please click on the following links...