Rimsha family fears for life
13 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: A Christian family and their daughter, who was bailed after spending three weeks in a jail on blasphemy charges, fear for their lives despite government promises to protect them, reports said.
"I'm scared," CNN quoted her as saying by telephone on Tuesday, from a secret hiding place with her family. "I'm afraid of anyone who might kill us." But she said she would never leave the country. "I love Pakistan," said Rimsha, who is thought to be 14.
According to CNN, she often answered in just "yes" or "no" in a shy and nervous voice, and firmly denied all allegations against her. She said she was falsely accused.
According to CNN, Rimsha's father — a house painter — said no one in his family would dare dishonour the holy Quran. The BBC quoted him as saying the family were threatened by neighbours. "They were saying, 'We are going to burn you inside the house'," he said.
"'We are not going to spare you or your kids. Then we will burn the homes of the other Christians'. Even after we left the area they were saying, 'Bring the girl and the family to us. We want to kill them'."
"We are worried that we can be attacked and killed any time," Rimsha's father said.
According to the BBC, Rimsha's mother said she was assaulted after a mob tried to enter the house before her daughter was arrested. "A woman hit me," she said, "and slapped my face. People started running into the house to catch my daughter. I was scared they might kill us. We were all crying. My daughter was very upset."
The family said Rimsha's 14-year-old sister was also traumatised. "A lot of people had gathered," the BBC quoted her as saying, "and they were saying, 'We will cut off the hands of the people who burned the Holy Quran'. Rimsha wouldn't come out of the bathroom. Later the police came and took her away."