20 Nov 2012

Blasphemy case dropped against Christian girl

10:59 pm on 20 November 2012

A court in Pakistan has dropped a controversial blasphemy case against a Christian girl accused by her neighbour of burning pages from the Koran, the BBC reports.

The girl, 14, and known as Rimsha, was held in a maximum security jail in July prompting international concern.

Her arrest followed accusations by a Muslim cleric now facing a case for allegedly planting evidence.

Rimsha's lawyer says the case was a misuse of law. Her family received death threats and went into hiding.

Following an outcry over the case, Rimsha, who doctors say has a younger mental age than 14, was released on bail - an extremely rare move in blasphemy cases.

The case against the Muslim cleric accused of framing her will proceed, says the BBC's correspondent in Islamabad. He will be tried for making a false accusation.

Rimsha and her family remain in hiding at an undisclosed location, the BBC's correspondent says.

A leading human rights campaigner has welcomed the decision to drop the case against her, but says her life could still be at risk from extremists.