Pakistan orders probe of disabled girl’s blasphemy arrest
By Rizwan Khatik - Mon Aug 20, 11:36 am
Pakistan’s president has ordered a report into the arrest of a girl with mental disabilities, reportedly as young as 11, accused of desecrating pages of the Quran.
Police say the girl was arrested last week in a Christian area of the capital, Islamabad, after a furious crowd demanded she be punished.
Officials said the girl could not properly answer police questions.
Her parents have been taken into protective custody following threats.
Many other Christian families have fled the neighbourhood after unrest erupted. Reports say that police arrested her under pressure from the large crowd.
It is thought that the girl has Down’s syndrome, which is a congenital condition that causes various degrees of learning difficulties and certain physical abnormalities.
State media said that President Asif Ali Zardari had “taken notice” of the reports of the arrest and asked Pakistan’s interior ministry to present a report to him.
The incident comes amid a debate about Pakistan’s strict anti-blasphemy laws.