Imam Arrested for Framing Disabled Girl for Blasphemy

Witnesses say cleric tore Koran, put pages in girl's bag
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2012 7:33 AM CDT
Pakistani Christians, who claimed to have been evicted from the neighborhood of a Christian girl arrested on alleged blasphemy charges, rally in Islamabad, Pakistan on Aug. 31, 2012.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
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(Newser) – A Muslim cleric was arrested today for framing a blasphemy accusation against an 11-year-old Christian girl who reportedly suffers from Down syndrome, reports Reuters. Witnesses said the cleric tore pages from a Koran and put them in the girl's bag, which led to the original outrage and charges against the girl. The girl is scheduled to have a bail hearing tomorrow. While the death penalty (the maximum sentence for blasphemy) has never been carried out in Pakistan, critics say the laws incite violence and extremism, and that the country's Christian minority is especially vulnerable.

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