CLAAS Press Release
25 October 2016

Blasphemy charges dropped against eight-year-old Pakistani Christian

Blasphemy charges have been dropped against an eight-year-old Christian boy in Quetta, Pakistan.

The youngster m and his mother were both accused of burning pages of the holy Quran.

The incident is said to have taken place on October 20 and soon afterwards the police filed a report against them.

While the Christian boy and his mother remained behind bars, local Christian leader including JUIF’s (Jamait Ulema Islam F) Member of National Assembly Asiya Nasir in collaboration with the Christian MPs Member of Provincial Assembly Baluchistan William Barkat and Shahzad Kundan started jostling for their release.

The matter was resolved one day later when the JUI played a pivotal role in retrieving the Christian mother and son.

The blasphemy accusations were quashed while an FIR no. 167 was filed against unknown persons.

Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS-UK said this is not the first time that a minor has been charged with a blasphemy offence. He cited several examples like in 1993 slamat Masih, 12, was charged under the blasphemy law, for a crime he never committed. Also in 2011 a Christian girl, F Bhatti, 13 was accused of blasphemy by her Muslim teacher for misspelling.

Rimsha Masih’s case is well-known and now a an eight-year-old boy was charged with blasphemy.

Mr Saeed said: “He may have never have even heard the word of blasphemy. Unfortunately, this is the worst example of hatred and intolerance against Christians and treatment towards them in Pakistan.

“The Government of Pakistan must look into such cases and take appropriate steps to bring necessary changes to stop the ongoing misuse of this law.

“The international community has continuously expressed its concern and called for amendments.”