BBC NEWS: Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ family tell of fire threat

The family of a young Pakistani Christian girl, known as Rimsha, who faces blasphemy charges, say their Muslim neighbours threatened to burn them alive inside their home.

Speaking to the BBC from a secret location outside Islamabad, Rimsha’s father said he feared for their lives.

He insisted his daughter was innocent. Rimsha was released on bail on Saturday, but could still face charges.

She had been accused of burning pages of the Koran.

But a cleric who had accused her was arrested last week for allegedly planting evidence against her, and himself desecrating the Koran.

The case has sparked fresh concerns about the misuse of Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws.
Rimsha’s parents, who are not being named for their own safety, told the BBC’s Orla Guerin that their daughter was a shy 11-year-old who was illiterate – like the rest of the family – and had always been slow.

They said she was sitting quietly at home in their poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad when a crowd gathered outside, claiming she had burnt pages from an Islamic textbook. Her mother described trying to hold off the mob…
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