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Pakistani Cleric Cleared In 'Blasphemy' Case


Rimsha Masih

Rimsha Masih

A Pakistani court has dismissed charges against a Muslim cleric for framing a Christian girl accused of blasphemy.

Khalid Jadoon Chishti, the imam of the local mosque, had accused Rimsha Masih of burning pages of the Koran.

Masih was arrested in August 2012 and spent three weeks in jail.

Chishti is accused of allegedly planting pages of the Koran in a bag full of ash that was seized from the girl, believed to be mentally disabled.

He was arrested but was never formally indicted.

His lawyer said the Islamabad court released him after accepting there was not enough evidence against him.

Pakistani media said witnesses had withdrawn their accusations.

The case had spotlighted the issue of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, which are often used to settle scores with members of religious minorities.

Based on reporting by AP and the BBC
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