Rimsha fears for life: reports
Rimsha Masih, a 14 year old Christian girl who was imprisoned for nearly three weeks on charges of blasphemy, fears for her life even though the Pakistani government has promised her protection, a Pakistan news agency reports. There is grave concern among the international community that Rimsha will never again be safe in her home country. In the past 25 years, around 50 people accused of blasphemy have been murdered by radical mobs after having been acquitted of the charges.
09/13/2012 Pakistan (The News: International)- …
“I’m scared” CNN quoted her as saying on Tuesday by telephone, from a secret hiding place with her family. “I’m afraid of anyone who might kill us.”But she said she would never leave the country. “I love Pakistan,” said Rimsha, who is thought to be 14.
According to CNN, she often answered just “yes” or “no” in a shy and nervous voice, and firmly denied she had burnt pages of Quran.She said she was falsely accused, but would not answer questions about what exactly happened on August 16. Blasphemy is hugely sensitive in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the population are Muslims, and allegations of insulting Islam or the prophet Mohammed prompt fury. Insulting the prophet Mohammed is punishable by death and burning a sacred text by life imprisonment. Two politicians who spoke out on the matter were killed last year.
According to CNN, Rimsha’s father — a Christian house painter who earns a few dollars a day — said no one in his family would dare dishonour the Quran. The BBC quoted him as saying the family were threatened by neighbours.
“They were saying: ‘We are going to burn you inside the house,’” he said.“‘We are not going to spare you or your kids. Then we will burn the homes of the other Christians. Even after we left the area they were saying: ‘Bring the girl and the family to us. We want to kill them.’”
“We are worried that we can be attacked and killed any time,” Rimsha’s father said.“Before, when cases like this have arisen, people who were accused were killed.”
According to the BBC, Rimsha’s mother said she was assaulted after a mob tried to enter the house before her daughter was arrested.
“A woman hit me,” she said, “and slapped my face. People started running into the house to catch my daughter. I was scared they might kill us. We were all crying. My daughter was very upset.”