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Tuesday 20 November 2012

Rimsha Masih's original FIR is quashed!

14 year old Rimsha taken to safety after release on bail September 8th 2012

Shamim Maish who attended todays hearing in Islamabad Court shared good news of the dismissal of Rimsha Masih's original FIR.  In an email sent at 6am he said;

Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed FIR against Rimsha

Islamabad Pakistan (Shamim Masih): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced its verdict today on 20th November, 2012 and dismissed the First Investigation Report (FIR) filed against 14 years Rimsha, a Christian girl, accused of committing blasphemy.

According to Rimsha’s lawyer Abdul Hameed Rana, the verdict was announced on an application filed by him seeking quashment of the FIR against Rimsha.
Earlier on November 14, the honorable chief justice IHC, Mr. Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman had reserved the judgment and announced it today.

Rimsha, 14 a Christian girl was arrested from the slum settlement of Islamabad on August 16 this year, when her neighbor Malik Hammad, accused her of burning pages of Quran verses. She spent three weeks in the jail and was released on bail on 8 September and flown to unknown place with her family. 

Rimsha Masih has escaped prosecution under Pakistan's draconian religious laws, which have been subject to widespread abuse and false accusations.  However many others still languish in jail including Asia Bibi and Younas Masih.  The fact remains that it took over 3 months to find this juvenile victim innocent and trial was dragged through adult courts.  

Villagers from her poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad are still being subjected to abuse and threats, many have lost their employment after being away from work while fleeing persecution.  Now they may be facing a cold winter without the means to support their families.  What justice will they receive from authorities that have failed to come to their aid, thus far?

The public outcry to Rimsha's arrest was heightened by the fact that she was a teenager and clains that she suffered from Downs Syndrome or a mental illness. 

Senior Islamic clerics opposed her trial publicly and in a bizarre turn of events three senior figures from the local mosque accused their Imam of tampering with evidence (inserting torn shreds of the Koran to burnt Quranic text books said to be found with Rimsha) to frame the young victim - they later retracted their statements to the dismay of campaigners for Rimsha.  

Police reports following the initial First Incident Report (FIR) supported Rimsha's acquittal, in which they stated Rimsha was neither at the incident location at the right time and that she was not mentally capable of the crime, they adamantly stated their was no evidence of a crime.

Police had made the original arrest allegedly for her protection after concern for her safety was raised when the majority Muslim community of  the Mehrabadi district began protesting against her and blocked one of the main roads to the capital.

Fears for the safety of Rimsha Masih persist and the BPCA is calling for asylum for her family in a country with more progressive culture and legal systems.  

Wilson Chowdhry said;

"Although this is a landmark case which sets a precedent for future blasphemy trials, this judgement will not be a huge catalyst for change.  The volatility and instability within Pakistani society does not allow for the abrogation of the blasphemy laws, which are being used as a tool for minority discrimination and persecution.  These laws are still strongly supported by the Muslim majority and need to be reformed gradually.  High profile victims such as Asia Bibi and Younis Masih are still incarcerated under false blasphemy charges, illustrating the many failures in the Pakistan justice system"

He added;

"Villagers form Rimsha's community are still receiving threats, they have been forced out of work and Pakistani authorities have failed to react to their need.  Support for Imam Chisti is still strong in Mehrabadi and I pray that they will not become the forgotten victims of this debacle.  We congratulate Rimsha and her family and will pray for their future stability and safety.

Wilson was interviewed live on Premier Christian Radios news hour:


  1. Thanks be to God for Judge's merciful pronouncement...however the unfounded charge has caused so much destitution for Rimsha's Christian community.May this ungodly violence come to a peaceful closE soon a prayer also offered up for the largely MuSlim victims of Israel's latest deadly unwarranted and unlawful and ungodly incursions into the Gaza strip.

  2. The good news of Rimsha's release brought me joy. The Lord Almighty has answered our prayers wonderfully, may His name be praised! Meanwhile, I shall keep on praying for Rimsha's and her family's safety.

  3. Good news. Hopefully a step in the right direction for corruption to end for the future.. well, Pakistan was pushed by the media and west to bring integrity to this case. Now the world knows that is the formula.
    MUST LISTEN: Salman Taseer Drama of his mission to end blasphemy..

  4. The article states that location was a reason for why the case was resolved with investigation and completeness. The power of GLOBAL media definitely played the majority part in this case and secondly because she was a MINOR and a child in a Jail is incomprehensible. This is the straw that broke the camel's back. Hopefully Asif Zardari will committ to having all cases investigated with integrity and not just washing his hands clean when injustice occurs. The moral thing to do as seen with Salman Taseer is always the right thing to do to for the social well being of all citizens.