Pakistan Rimsha Maseeh blasphemy case dropped

A court in Pakistan has dropped a controversial blasphemy case against a Christian girl accused by her neighbour of burning pages from the Koran.

The girl, known as Rimsha and aged 14, was held in a maximum security jail in July prompting international concern.

Her arrest followed accusations by a Muslim cleric now facing a case for allegedly planting evidence.

Rimsha’s lawyer said the case had been a misuse of law. Her family received death threats and went into hiding.

Following an outcry over the case, Rimsha, who doctors said was 14 years old but with a younger mental age, was released on bail – an extremely rare move in blasphemy cases.

The case against the Muslim cleric, accused of framing her, will proceed, says the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97% of the population are Muslim.

Critics say the controversial laws are misused all too often – to persecute minorities or settle scores.

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