Outrage at arrest of Christian girl in Pakistan for blasphemy

2012-08-20 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pakistani authorities confirmed today that they have arrested a Christian girl and are investigating whether she violated the country's strict blasphemy laws after furious neighbours surrounded her house and demanded police take action.

According to police the girl was arrested on Thursday after neighbours, angry over reports she had allegedly burned pages of the Quran or holy book, gathered outside her house in a poor district of Islamabad.

A police officer said the girl might have been harmed if officers had not “quickly reacted”.

The arrest of the girl who is reported to be mentally handicapped has provoked outrage among the Christian community.

Sister Daniela Baronchelli from the Italian order of le Figlie di San Paolo or Children of St Paul in Karachi says Christians in Pakistan are suffering.

Police say the investigation is continuing and as yet no conclusion had been reached in the case.

In Pakistan, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad, or, the Quran, can be sentenced to death.

A spokesperson for Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, said the president has taken ``serious note'' of reports of the girl's arrest and has asked the Interior Ministry to look into the case. Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report