Mentally ill girl arrested for blasphemy in Pakistan

An 11-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome in Pakistan has been arrested and charged with blasphemy for allegedly burning passages from the Quran. Rifta Masih was jailed by police in Mehrabadi, near Islamabad, after being severely beaten by locals.

It’s alleged Masih, who is Christian, burned 10 pages. While the police initially showed hesitation in charging the girl, they eventually registered a blasphemy case against her and arrested her formally on Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said today that he is troubled by the violence. “Canada is concerned about the safety of the girl, her family and their community,” Baird said. “We urge Pakistan’s political and religious leaders to continue to co-operate to protect the family and community.”

If found guilty, the girl could face the death penalty.



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