Members of the media and residents gather outside a mosque near the locked family house of Rimsha Masih, a Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy, on the outskirts of Islamabad on Thursday. – Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A lawyer of a young Pakistani Christian girl, arrested on blasphemy charges in a poor suburb of Islamabad, moved a bail application before the local session court on Friday.

Sources say that the advocate of the accused girl has submitted a bail application before session judge west M Azam Khan. The hearing for the case is scheduled to begin on August 28.

Police arrested Rimsha Masih, who reportedly has Down’s syndrome, in a low-income neighbourhood of the capital last Thursday after she was accused of burning papers containing verses from the Quran, and remanded her for 14 days.

Rimsha, aged between 11 and 16, is being held in a jail in Islamabad’s twin city Rawalpindi, and her case has prompted concern from Western governments and fury from rights campaigners.

Earlier on Thursday, Shamaun Alfred Gill, a spokesman for All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), told AFP that the lawyers were facing difficulties to see the accused girl and the jail authorities have told them to get permission from the top authorities.

Her legal team said they had approached the higher authorities in Punjab province but could not get a go ahead for the meeting.

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