Cleric accused in Rimsha blasphemy case walks free

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The Islamabad District and Sessions Judge (D&SJ) on Saturday acquitted cleric Khalid Jadoon, who was accused of tampering with evidence in a blasphemy case involving a minor Christian girl, Rimsha Masih.
Jadoon was accused of adding two pages of the Holy Quran to the pages of the Noorani Qaida that Rimsha had allegedly burnt on August 16, last year.
Police personnel arrested Jadoon for committing blasphemy by tearing pages of the Holy Quran with an intention of adding them to the purported evidence against Rimsha.
However, the prosecution failed to provide any solid evidence against Jadoon before the court after which Islamabad D&SJ Raja Jawad Abbas acquitted the accused.
Jadoon’s counsel, Wajid Ali Gillani told the judge that the prosecution had no evidence against his client therefore it should acquit Jadoon from the blasphemy case as liberty of a citizen could not be curtailed on mere suspicion.
On September 7, 2012, the court granted bail to Rimsha against two surety bonds of Rs 500,000 each. She was flown to an undisclosed location in a helicopter after her release from jail. Later, the Islamabad High Court declared Rimsha innocent and quashed the FIR against her.
The Canadian government later granted religious asylum to Rimsha and her family.
After Jadoon’s acquittal, the blasphemy case which made headlines around the globe met an end already being anticipated by the local Christian community and human rights organizations.
The minor girl, reportedly suffering from Down’s Syndrome, was arrested in August last year but she was released on bail after a witness ,Hafiz Mohammad Zubair, a prayer caller at the same mosque where Jadoon was Imam, recorded a statement against him before a magistrate.
In his statement Zubair recalled that he was sitting in Aitekaf (meditation) during the month of Ramadan (August last year) in the mosque which was situated in front of Rimsha’s house.
He alleged that when the complainant Malik Hammad brought the burnt pages of the Holy Quran before the cleric, Jadoon added two pages of Holy verses in the evidence to strengthen the case against the Christian girl.
However, during the course of the proceedings all witnesses against Jadoon retracted their statements, making Jadoon’s acquittal from the case imminent.

2 COMMENTS

  1. In Pakistan we have lawyers and courts but no rule of Law. The above is a classical example.

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