(Reuters) – A Pakistani Christian girl detained on accusations of defaming Islam was too frightened to speak in a prison where she is being held in solitary confinement for her safety, an activist who said he visited her said on Thursday.
Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested over the arrest last week of Rimsha Masih, accused by Muslim neighbors of burning Islamic religious texts.
The case has put another spotlight on Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law, which rights groups say dangerously discriminates against the conservative Muslim country’s tiny minority groups.
Christian activist Xavier William said he visited Masih at a police station where she was first held, and then this week in prison.
“She was frightened and traumatised,” William told Reuters.
“She was assaulted and in very bad shape. She had bruises on her face and on her hands,” he added, referring to an attack by a mob in her village on the edge of Islamabad after she was accused of blasphemy.
Under the blasphemy law, anyone who speaks ill of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad commits a crime and faces the death penalty, but activists say vague terminology has led to its misuse.
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