A revised charge sheet submitted by police in September indicated that no evidence had been found to support the accusation against Rimsha, who has been on bail for over two months.
Rimsha Masih, who is deemed to be fourteen years old but with a younger mental age, was charged with desecrating the Qur’an under section 295B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Her case has attracted support from senior Islamic clerics in Pakistan, as well as a high level of international attention.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW’s) Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “Only a fortnight ago, during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN, Pakistan cited the handling of Rimsha’s case as a sign of positive change, in response to criticism of the country’s blasphemy laws. Within Pakistan itself, the case has been held up as a clear example of misuse of the laws from the very beginning and there seems little point in prolonging the trial any further. We urge the competent authorities to annul the original charge without delay, sparing Rimsha any further ordeal in court and demonstrating that the early progress so strongly highlighted at Pakistan’s UPR is a reality on the ground.”