Accused of burning pages from a Coranic manual, a young Christian Pakistani from Islamabad, named Rimsha, is awaiting trial for blasphemy since August, 16th.
From the very start of this case, Rimsha’s age and mental health have been subjects of debate. According to her relatives, the young girl is 11 and living with Down Syndrome. This statement is contested by her accusers who claim she is older and in good health.
As the time of her judgement approaches, these question are crucial as they will be decisive in establishing her responsibility. However, the Imam who denounced Rimsha was, himself, incarcerated last September. Indeed, according to various witnesses, he added some pages with koranic verses to the manual the young girl burned. He apparently did it so that she would be accused of blasphemy and prejudice the Christians living in the neighbourhood. Having spent spending three weeks in prison, Rimsha was then released on bail on September, 7th.
Since August, the Foundation has been sharing worldwide indignation. It has made known to the Pakistani authorities that the Foundation’s expertise in diagnosing mental disabilities would willingly be made available in order to determine whether the young girl living with, or not, Down Syndrome.
Jean-Marie Le Méné was received at the Pakistani Embassy on that purpose. Indeed, the Jérôme Lejeune Foudation, being both expert in this field and a private organism, would be able to determine without any doubt and provide an independent guarantee as to whether the young girl really does live mental disability or not.
As we speak, the inquiry is still ongoing. Defending people living with a handicap is one of the reasons of the Foundation’s existence and it is standing ready to provide help.