Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bulletin: (Pak); Khalid Chishti: 14-year girl charged with blasphemy for allegedly burning Quran released; Cleric charged with tampering. NYT.

STORY: "Girl released in Pakistan blasphemy case," by reporters Declam Walsh and Salman Masood, published in the New York Times on September 7, 2012.

GIST: A Christian girl accused of burning a religious textbook was released from jail on Saturday after a judge in Pakistan had granted her bail, a significant step in a controversy that has renewed scrutiny of the country’s blasphemy laws........."The case has come to represent what many see as the abuses carried out in the name of Pakistan’s colonial-era blasphemy laws, which critics say are often used to intimidate members of minority groups. Ms. Masih was jailed after hundreds of Muslims protested outside her local police station at the instigation of a cleric, Muhammad Khalid Chishti, who said she should face the full force of the law — including, possibly, the death penalty.This week, the police detained Mr. Chishti on suspicion that he planted pages from the Koran on Ms. Masih. Calls for the case to be dropped have grown. Outside the courtroom on Friday, a group of children with Down syndrome held a banner that read, “We want to meet Down syndrome girl Rimsha.” Inside, lawyers made long and often fiery arguments that, at one point, prompted the judge to ask that decorum be respected. Ms. Masih’s lawyers said the blasphemy charge was a ruse on the part of a local “land mafia,” with the goal of evicting up to 400 Christian families from her neighborhood. Munir Jafferi, a police officer, told the court that Mr. Chishti had added two pages of the Koran to a bundle of already burned pages from the religious textbook in an effort to bolster the evidence against Ms. Masih."

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.