Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where Rimsha Masih had been under detention prior to her release Saturday afternoon. – Photo by AP
Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where Rimsha Masih had been under detention prior to her release Saturday afternoon. – Photo by AP

RAWALPINDI: A Pakistani court granted bail and released a minor Christian girl Rimsha Masih, who had been accused of blasphemy, DawnNews reported on Saturday.

Rimsha was released from Adiala Jail, where she had been kept under detention for more than two weeks, and flown to an unknown location in a government helicopter.

Rimsha was brought from the jail in an armoured vehicle to the nearest helipad, where the government chopper was waiting to fly her out. A large number of security personnel, along with members of the Christian community, were present outside Adiala Jail.

Paul Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister for national harmony, told AFP that Rimsha was flown by helicopter to be reunited with her family.

“She has been freed from the jail and was transported by a helicopter to a safe place. Her family members received her,” he said.

Pakistan private TV channels broadcast footage of the girl wearing a traditional baggy green shirt and dark green trousers stepping out of an armoured vehicle and sitting in a helicopter.

Rimsha’s lawyer, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, confirmed her release after two guarantors submitted a surety bond guaranteeing that the girl would reappear before court at the court’s choosing.

Earlier, on Friday, the teenage girl was granted bail by the court of additional sessions against two sureties of Rs.500,000 each.

“I accept her bail application,” Judge Mohammad Azam Khan had announced to a packed courtroom. “The bail application has been accepted against two sureties of 500,000 rupees each.”

Earlier, the court had reserved its ruling after hearing the arguments made by the counsels of both the complainant and the defendant.

The lawyer for the accused girl had submitted before the court that the girl was entitled to bail as she was a minor and that the FIR lodged by the police did not say that she desecrated a copy of the holy Quran.

On the contrary, the complainant’s counsel alleged that the girl had confessed to her guilt and hence was not entitled for bail.

The officer investigating the case told the court that Khalid Jadoon, the cleric who had been accused of tampering evidence, had deliberately added pages of the holy Quran to the plastic bag that the minor girl, who belonged to the Christian community, was carrying.

The prosecution lawyer alleged that the police, including the investigating officer, and doctors were manipulating the case to get the girl freed under international pressure, adding that, they feared the accused would be immediately sent abroad if bail was granted and that then the case would come to an end.

Moreover, the district attorney told the court that the blasphemy accused girl had stated her age to the magistrate as 16 years, adding that, the complainant in the case was receiving threats.

A large number of security personnel, members of civil society and international media persons were present outside the court as Judge Azam Khan heard the bail application of the accused girl whose case has made headlines in the international and local media.

The girl has been in custody since she was arrested in a poor Islamabad suburb more than two weeks ago after being accused of burning papers containing verses from the holy Quran.

Earlier on Monday, the case was adjourned until Sept 7 because of a lawyers’ strike, following a request from the lawyer for the girl’s neighbour Hammad Malik, who had filed the original complaint against her.


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Comments (52) (Closed)


Dr.M.M.Khan
Sep 08, 2012 09:16pm
What a travesty of justice. The poor girl had to raise a bail of 1000000 rupees tb released on bail and then flown out to a hidden place. She is an example of living dead. Her family also i persume has also gone into hiding. The imam must be enjoying A class a treatment in the prison. After all he is a imam and is pious. and ?protecting our religion
El Cid
Sep 08, 2012 11:23pm
She is no child. She appears to be a grown woman. She was being taken out on a fully armed helicopter gun ship under military protection. Her face was covered such that the alleged handicap of Down syndrome could not be seen. On the TV clip I saw, so far censored for Pakistani audiences, she appears, walks and performs as an agile able well fed and fit person between the ages of 19 to 23years old. I was not able to verify her mental condition, education, or culpability from the short film clip taken from a distance of about 30feet...but she is NO child. One million international signatures and voices helped force her release, developing case against her accuser...arm twisting similar to Raymond Davis and Sallal kills. It would seem two false witness were produced after over two weeks of international pressure demeaning Pakistan, Muslims, and Islam. The Qur'an from which pages have been alleged to have been torn by the cleric has not been produced...probably will be now after the event. Justice in Pakistan works both ways...and controlled by the one with the bigger stick.
indian
Sep 08, 2012 03:59pm
so pathetic
Mohdudul Huq
Sep 08, 2012 04:00pm
I agree 100 percent.
Capricorn
Sep 08, 2012 02:45pm
Minister of National Harmony????? Only in Pakistan will you find a ministry like this.
Azhar Hussain
Sep 08, 2012 02:27pm
The government is so weak that it has to fly away an innocent girl to a undisclosed location. why can't we muster enough courage and tell these Mullas and their followings that if they lay hand on her, or utter any word that they would be put to a place where the sun don't shine.
syed Inam
Sep 09, 2012 01:20am
At least one innocent child is out of reach of these savage animals. These mullahs are brainwashing the whole nation of 180 millions. They should be put out of business or we will never able to go into the 21st century.
Tinker
Sep 08, 2012 06:40pm
Mullah should understand the Power of Human Dignity.
TMay
Sep 09, 2012 10:19pm
She is not released. She is out on bail. She has to return for the trial.The lawyer should ask for a dismissal of the cases ASAP, but I hear the lawyers were on strike.
TMay
Sep 09, 2012 10:24pm
She is not out of reach. She is out on bail, not released. She has to come back for motions and for the trial. Her family probably can't go back to the shack they lived in. Who know about the rest of the Christian community that they lived amongst all of whom were threatened.
Karim
Sep 11, 2012 04:42am
You know very little.
Karim
Sep 11, 2012 04:41am
You must be foremost investigator in the world to deduce so much from tv screen. Please contact FBI they desperately needed geniuses like you! Btw case against rimsha mash was fake
Hasnain Haque
Sep 08, 2012 08:12pm
Yes indeed and only in an Islamic Republic you find the most corrupt people who know very little about Islam.
Farhat Khan
Sep 08, 2012 05:44pm
It 's about time that this child is released from prison. All charges against her need to be dropped. The cleric who framed her should be punished severley and this girl should be compensated for her ordeal. The government of pakistan needs to make drastic changes to avoid such atrocities in the future. There are several wrongs that need to be put straight. Justice shuld be served for the culprits of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti. There should be a strong separation of church and state.All state maters must be addresses from a secular point of view. Stop the fear mongring regarding enemies and waste billions of dollars on defense. Every one knows that it is very easy to control the Taliban insurgencies, if the government was effective. Priority must be to be given to education, education and education. All the billions going to defense should be diverted to education, health, clean water, providing shelter to every one, ensuring diginity to all citizens of the country. The mindset of the Pakistan has to change and come out from the darkness of the caves to enlightenment. All religious views should be practised in a personal and private manner and the education system must instill respect for global views and awareness of all belief systems and value systems. In other words Pakistan must join the civilized society and leave the darkness of 14th century behind and step into the 21st century.
Saeed
Sep 08, 2012 04:29pm
Don't we need one
ayesha
Sep 08, 2012 10:04pm
she is not mentally ill...she has down Syndrome which means she has special needs .... please stop using terms which are hurtful and wrong.
Ash Mirza
Sep 08, 2012 02:35pm
Thanks GOD, atleast innocent girl is free, I hope she never have to face the judge, or see the four walls of jail........I hope she leave the country with her family members to europe or USA...she most welcome here... ash Mirza (USA)
Kashif Chohan
Sep 08, 2012 02:42pm
Totally agree.
Naveed
Sep 08, 2012 02:52pm
I could not agree more! With all the evidence of mullah's treachery, this young child is guilty until proven innocent, what a system!!
Kashif Chohan
Sep 08, 2012 02:42pm
Truly pleased with the way government has handled it, well done Pakistan, shame on the pathetic culprits who have brought shame to the name of country and their religion.
Amir
Sep 08, 2012 05:12pm
Well said.
osama
Sep 08, 2012 02:20pm
well,hope this is a good sign but lets not forget the accuser.he shud be dealt harshly(he shud be accused of the blasphemy law) so as to show that minorities in pakistan have the same right as any one else.
Kareem Ali
Sep 09, 2012 01:06am
I agree with you. However, the problem lies with our people not our system. Our people need education. Those people taught by our mullahs can not think. As it turned out our mullahs can not think as well and commit the worst of blasphemy.
Qaiser Bakhtiari
Sep 08, 2012 08:58pm
Thanks Zafar, I couldnt agree more. A 14 year old innocent girl treated in such an inhumane way can only happen in a Country that is still in dark ages
zohaib
Sep 08, 2012 04:21pm
Drama of interior minister, no need of such security, what they want to show.
muneer
Sep 09, 2012 01:28am
what about the imam who was arrested, will be tried for blasphemy and hung in public
Laeeq,NY
Sep 09, 2012 01:29am
Let's hope she will remain in safety. My suggestion is, she should be sent out side the country.
marghoob ahmed siddiqui
Sep 08, 2012 07:18pm
GOD save the poor girl if she has been implicated falsely.
channi
Sep 08, 2012 01:27pm
shame on pakistanis who can not speak against these mullahs
star
Sep 09, 2012 02:38am
put the mullah on trial now.
shubs
Sep 09, 2012 08:48pm
Right, and throwing a human being into prison, with a possibility of execution or life behind bars, for the so-called crime of tearing a book...a book!!!!!!! is 'justice'????? In which century do you people live? Even if she did tear this book...is it a priceless national treasure? Is it irreplaceable? Will the ideas in the book be gone forever? Did she take it from some museum??? NO...it is probably a badly printed book on cheap paper made in some bylane of Karachi. You people have lost your collective mind. You are making a mockery of your faith, your intelligence and your nation. Nobody from any other country needs to 'demean Pakistan, Muslims and Islam'. You are doing it to yourself.
Farooq
Sep 09, 2012 03:20am
The mullah still won ... despite being caught planting the pages and desecrated the Quran himself. The christian family has to flee their locality forever - which is what the mullah originally intended - and we all let him win. SHAME !!
EncEe
Sep 09, 2012 02:04am
i think not dark ages but stone age
Nadir
Sep 09, 2012 02:09am
With all the misuse and personal vendatta issues in the past several years does the CJ have the courage to initate actions at the highest levels of justice to repeal the shameful blashmemy act from our constitution.
raika45
Sep 08, 2012 02:22pm
If there is an iota of respectability, then the Pakistan Bar council should question the behavior of the prosecuting [ or accuser's ] lawyer.As stated he called for a lawyers strike [ just to just to enhance his image in the public's eye ].This is called advertising.It may be legal in your country; but to use a child to gain points is not correct.
Practical
Sep 09, 2012 03:02am
Is it normal for people in Pakistan to check the garbage back being thrown out by someone ( specially by someone from Minority Community) ? Will some learned person or a enlightened person respond. Thanks
TMay
Sep 08, 2012 07:57pm
She has been released on bail, not released. There's a difference. Too bad the lawyer did not ask for the case to be dismissed and the judge did not dismiss the case. Apparently she still has to go through a trial. unless she skips bail and people who put up the bail would lose the a. $1,060. US dollars. I've never heard of a lawyer's strike before. Very interesting. Do they have a union? Are these government lawyers? Do judges go on strike too, court reporters in Pakistan? Do they have juries?
M
Sep 08, 2012 07:55pm
Mullah should be banned in Pakistan. We need to have a CERTIFIED Mullah !! Not every Tom, Dick & Harry who can become a Mullah !!
sam
Sep 08, 2012 04:49pm
For the same reason in future muslims will be discriminated and oppressed when they go abroad. teach the muslims a lesson dont mess with the lion when ur hand is in his mouth. Right now christian's are the majority religion in the world so they are capable of doing anything to a muslim when he is in their country.
Tom
Sep 08, 2012 09:50pm
. Let the poor christian girl leave the country and live a normal life. Pakistan need to concentrate on economic, and social development . Spend more money for education. Treat minorities with justice . Otherwise it will soon become the land of the pure with only a few cracy religious fanatics remaining in the country. You are giving a a bad name to Islam. In western countries people are accepting moderate muslims like Turkish people as more acceptable and countries like Pakistan, Afganistan and somalia are branded as a different group of muslims
Sherry Koch
Sep 08, 2012 01:58pm
Great article you left out the most Important point in the Case The Girl is Mentally Handicap with Down Syndrome! That is extremely important in this case. It Is So Crazy That This is even Happening to this Poor Child! She can be 50 with Down Syndrome and still have the Mind Of a 3year old! How can these Educated Judges, police Officers ect.. not Know this ? This was not about religion to this little Girl who could not read or write and did not know the signification of the papers that were in her hand! They should Educate her community on Down syndrome! This case was a witch hunt where they used their most vulnerable in their community the mentally retarded to push their agenda! This Case is a Humanitarian case .Their needs to be Laws to Protect People with Disabilities and Mental disorders.
Zafar Malik
Sep 08, 2012 01:57pm
Pakistan should now come out of dark ages and enter the modern world. Laws like Blasphemy belong to the dark ages of history.
Azad
Sep 08, 2012 05:19pm
Shahid I respect your view. The whole scenerio tells that it was a pre-meditated plan between the mullah and some neighbour of the girl to kick out the whole christian community out of that area They knew the girl cook their food by burning trash, so they sketch out a plan.First they left plastic bags with some papers with some quranic verses in it.The girl was not aware of the contents nor where it comes from.To her trash is trash.Age of the girl here does not mean any thing. even an illetrate adult will end up doing the same.She was watched by the neighbour.As they saw she starts burning those planted papers whistle was blown.When the Imam goes through those burnt papers,he was not satisfied with the outcome,so he decided to plant some more pages from the holy Quran to make the case stronger..Now it is self evident that who is the blasphemer.Life is God gifted and not the property of these suedo preachers. Justice should be fare for all. Truth is even she is freed by the judge, the fear will hunt her rest of the life who is paying for that.God bless her and give her the strength to cope with it.
Shahid
Sep 08, 2012 01:06pm
I am VERY pleased to read this but it is a pity and a shame that she NEEDED to be protected. This again goes to show how pathetic the state of our minds has become that we cannot assure and assume the safety of a person regardless if they were guilty or not-guilty (even in light of the fact that a mullah has been remanded to custody on accusation that he planted the pages from the Holy Quran).
Mohammad Azeez Khan
Sep 08, 2012 10:42pm
What can you expect from uneducated people brainwashed by the equally uneducated corrupted deceitful mullahs who only know how to read and write in urdu and recite Arabic like a parrot and have no other knowledge. The judge should have acquited the case for girl altogether in the light of the action of mullah who was a liar and dajjal. I have known all along all the blasphemy cases are false. By burning Quran written on papers on earth what harm can any one do to the original quran in heaven. I have seen soldiers in my country stepping on quran and nothing happend to them .
Shahbaz
Sep 09, 2012 03:24am
a much needed step in the right direction !
ahmad
Sep 08, 2012 04:48pm
she might be flown to a western country with her family. many christians, convicted of blasphemy are enjoying their lives in west thanks to our govenments and judicial system. congratultions. but we still need to address the real motif behind this. A mullah or a moslim can never tear quran for any evil or good reason. I know that for sure.
Mohdudul Huq
Sep 08, 2012 02:23pm
Prophet Muhammad pardoned a lot of non-Muslims during his time; why not Muslims should follow the path of our Prophet Muhammad and pardon her. Islam teaches us tolerance.
G.A.
Sep 08, 2012 05:26pm
Thank you to whoever is involved in offering protection to this young citizen of Pakistan. It should never have come to this. There are people starving left and right in Pakistan but this is where all the energies are being channeled. Unbelievable!
ADNAN
Sep 08, 2012 01:44pm
its pleasing to read that the minor and mentally ill girl was bailed. And more pleasing is the support from all around Pakistan for the innocent girl. May this unity between the religions and all sect be promoted for the prosperity.
jalaluddin S. Hussain
Sep 09, 2012 12:28am
I agree.
Jamoorah
Sep 09, 2012 12:22am
Thanks to the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth who has protected his innocent creation..Rimsha ..in spite of all odds...HE gave courage to witnesses to come forward in accordance with their conscience....to save an innocent life from the plans of IBLEES agents who pose as religious preachers. Thanks to all rational PEOPLE of Pakistan.....who are getting fed up with such cases based on LIES....and hatred. May the Almighty reward those who spoke the truth and do justice with accuser. I am sure Christians of Pakistan and Rimsha will forgive the Imam , if he apologizes that he had lied ! God Bless the Police officer who " thought outside the plastic bag "....! Pakistan Zindabad