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April 12, 2012

Pakistani Woman Accused of ‘Blasphemy’ Illegally Held in Jail

Authorities fail to file charge sheet against young mother of 6-month-old.

LAHORE, Pakistan, April 10 (CDN) — The mother of a 6-month-old girl has been wrongly jailed for more than a month, as Pakistani authorities have failed to file a charge sheet within the mandatory 14-day period against the young Christian woman falsely accused of “blaspheming” the prophet of Islam, her attorney said. 

Shamim Bibi, 26, of village Chak No. 170/7R Colony, in the Fort Abbas area of Bahawalpur district, was charged under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s “blasphemy” statutes after neighbors accused her of uttering remarks against Muhammad. She was arrested on Feb. 28.

Speaking ill of Muhammad in Pakistan is punishable by life imprisonment or death under Pakistan’s internationally condemned blasphemy laws.

“Shamim has been implicated in a completely baseless case,” said her husband, Bashir Masih. “I was present with her at the time of the alleged incident … nothing of the sort happened. The Muslims cooked up a false story, though it’s still not clear who provoked them into leveling this accusation.”

After visiting his wife in jail today, Bashir told Compass by phone that she was holding fast to her Christian faith and firmly believed that God would rescue her soon from the false charge.

Read the full story at Compass Direct.