The case has provoked an outcry from international human rights activists and shone an uncomfortable spotlight on Pakistan‘s blasphemy laws. Critics of the laws say they can be used to settle vendettas or seek retribution. Many of Pakistan‘s minorities, including Christians, live in fear of being accused of the offense.
The girl’s lawyer, Mr. Chaudhry, said this case might lead to changes in the blasphemy law to prevent its misuse, but he made clear that he had no problem with the law itself.
“Our concern is not about the law. The law is made for the betterment of society,” he said. “The misuse and abuse of the law must be stopped.”
People accused of the crime, even those who aren’t convicted, often face vigilante justice by outraged Pakistanis. A Pakistani man accused of blasphemy in July was dragged from a police station and beaten to death before his body was set on fire.
Few are willing to tackle the highly contentious issue after two prominent politicians who criticized the law were murdered last year. One was killed by his own bodyguard, who then attracted adoring crowds.
The Pakistani government has been largely silent on the girl’s case.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A mother of three and a passionate conservative, Shirley Husar changes the game.
Political satirist and Christian apologist Bob Siegel discusses religion and politics.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall