Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Pakistani-Christian blasphemy girl granted political asylum in Canada

Rimsha Masih, the Pakistani-Christian teenager falsely accused of blasphemy has been granted political asylum in Canada.

 Masih, 14, was held in a maximum security prison in Islamabad for several weeks in August 2012 after she was accused of burning pages containing verses from the Koran. 

A group of Muslim men alleged that Masih - who is believed to have learning difficulties - was seen burning a bag filled with paper in the predominantly Christian, Mehrabadi area of the Pakistani capital and demanded she be charged under the country's draconian blasphemy laws.

The case attracted attention around the world and although charges Rimsha were dropped, she was forced into hiding along with her family after receiving death threats.

A local Imam - Khalid Jadoon Chishti - was later accused of framing Rimsha in a bid to "expel Christians from the area". 

Reports say that Canada-based International Christian Voice helped bring the youngster and her parents to an undisclosed location in Canada some three weeks ago. 

The BBC quoted one Christian activist as saying that Rimsha was learning English and enjoying school.

Rights groups have long accused Pakistani authorities of using blasphemy laws to target minority communities. 

Several politicians who have campaigned for changes to the law have been killed in recent years.



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