PUNISHMENT

Pakistani Girl Arrested for Blasphemy

A Pakistani Christian girl has been arrested after being accused by her neighbors of burning pages from the Quran. Few details on the young woman have become available, but she has been reported to be between the ages of 11 and 16. There have been some reports that she is mentally handicapped. Police said that 500 to 600 angry neighbors gathered outside the girl’s home and that they posed a physical threat to her if she was not taken into police custody. Pakistanis face life imprisonment or even capital punishment under the country’s severe blasphemy laws, and the presence of Islamic extremists gives some minority groups additional cause for concern. Police said that the girl will be held for 14 days while an investigation is ongoing.