Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy, fears for her life
"I'm scared," said Rimsa Masih, a teenaged Christian girl in Pakistan who faced a life sentence for allegedly buring pages of the Quran but has now been released on bail. She told a US broadcaster about her fears that she may be killed
Rimsha Masih, who was taken into custody under the blasphemy law, told CNN that she was happy to be back with her family but still feared for her life.
"I'm scared," she told CNN over phone. "I'm afraid of anyone who might kill us."
She spoke from her hideout where she was taken in a helicopter after her release on bail.
When asked how she was doing, she said she was good.
"No, no," she replied to a query on whether she ever burned pages of the Quran.
Were you falsely accused? "Yes," she responded.
Rimsha's lawyers have denied that she desecrated the Quran. They said instead said that the neighbour wanted to settle a personal score with Rimsha because the two didn't get along.
The lawyers told CNN this may have been because he liked her but she didn't like him back.
Rimsha's father Mizrak Mashi said no one in his family would dare dishonour the Quran.
"We respect the Quran just like we respect the Bible," he was quoted as saying.
"We couldn't imagine committing blasphemy let alone doing it. Our children would never do this either."
Local imam Khalid Jadoon has been taken into judicial custody as he was "accused of inserting pages of the Quran into the bag containing other religious material that the girl is alleged to have burned".
The muezzin of the same mosque who gave his testimony in an Islamabad court claims that the "imam wanted to beef up the 'evidence' to ensure that the girl's family would have to leave the neighbourhood for good", reported Pakistan's leading daily Dawn.
The daily described Khalid Jadoon's alleged act as "awful".