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Pakistani Woman Accused of 'Blasphemy' Illegally Held in Jail

Religion Today

Pakistani Woman Accused of 'Blasphemy' Illegally Held in Jail

April 12, 2012

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 accused to "blaspheming" the prophet of Islam, Compass Direct News reports. Shamim Bibi, 26, was charged under Section 295-C of Pakistan's "blasphemy" statutes after neighbors accused her of uttering remarks against Muhammad, and she was arrested Feb. 28. Under the blasphemy laws, speaking ill of Muhammad is punishable by life imprisonment or death. According to Bibi's lawyer, Mahboob A. Khan, police said they forwarded the charge sheet to the prosecution department, but there has been no word from them, nor has there been any response to a bail application Khan filed on March 17. "The judicial process is painfully slow, and it's even slower in such sensitive matters," Khan said. "I just hope the judge realizes the gaps in the case, and even if he does not muster enough courage to quash the case, he should at least set her free on bail." Bibi's husband, Bashir Masih, said she continued to hold fast to her Christian faith and firmly believed God would rescue her soon from the false charge.