ISLAMABAD (AP) — According to a lawyer for a Pakistani Christian girl who is accused of desecrating the Quran, an official medical review has determined that the girl is a minor.
That means she will be tried in the juvenile court system in Pakistan. And it could be a step toward defusing what has become a highly contentious case in Pakistan.
Blasphemy there can be punished with life in prison or even death.
The accusations against the girl have inflamed religious tensions. And they prompted hundreds of Christians to flee the girl's neighborhood, fearing retribution from their Muslim neighbors.
About 300 of the Christians who had set up a camp in a field outside Islamabad were evicted from the site today. Their makeshift church was burned down.
The attorney for the girl says a medical board determined she is 14 years old. He says the board also determined that her mental state did not correspond to her age. It isn't clear if that means she is mentally impaired. Some media reports have said she has Down syndrome.
A bail hearing has been scheduled for Thursday.
The lawyer says he will move to dismiss the case. He says he saw the girl in prison over the weekend, and that she was "weeping and crying."
APPHOTO BKB102: Hundreds of Christian families who fled their neighborhood where a girl was arrested on alleged blasphemy charges, fear backlashes from their Muslims neighbors if they had stayed, sit in a public park for protection in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2102. Christians, who took refuge said that people burned their makeshift church to the ground late at night. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash) (28 Aug 2012)
<<APPHOTO BKB102 (08/28/12)>>