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Girl accused of blasphemy being favoured: accuser’s lawyer

August 30, 2012

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Rao Abdur Raheem, (C), the lawyer for the accuser of the Christian girl charged with blasphemy for allegedly burning papers of Quranic verses, talks with media outside the court in Islamabad on August 30, 2012. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Doctors and officials are “favouring” a young Pakistani Christian girl charged with blasphemy after allegedly burning papers containing Quranic verses, the lawyer for her accuser claimed on Thursday.

The girl has been held since Aug 16 on suspicion of desecrating the Holy Quran.

A medical report earlier this week said that girl was around 14 years old — her age had been in dispute — and appeared to be “uneducated” with a mental age below her true age.

But after a brief hearing in the case on Thursday, which she did not attend, Rao Abdur Raheem, the lawyer representing her accuser, rejected the doctors' assessment.

“The victim has admitted that she burned a chapter of the Quran,” he told reporters outside court in Islamabad.

“The doctors are favouring the victim and the state is also supporting her.”

Raheem also objected to the medical examination because it was carried out a day before the court formally requested it.

The girl’s case has prompted concern from Western governments and the Vatican and anger from human rights campaigners, who have warned the laws, are often used to settle personal vendettas.