Target: President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan
Goal: Release the mentally retarded Pakistani girl recently jailed for unknowingly burning pages of the Quran while building a fire.
A Pakistani girl named Ramsha has been jailed for charges of blasphemy after unwittingly burning pages of the Quran while building a fire. Ramsha has Down Syndrome and is illiterate, and has explained to authorities that she didn’t know what she was burning. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari must order this innocent child to be released back to her family.
Ramsha was burning paper gathered from a public garbage when a woman entered her house and began shouting that she was burning the Quran. The Christian household was soon overrun with an angry Muslim crowd, some of whom threatened to burn Ramsha as punishment. Authorities arrived on the scene and took all of the women in the family into custody, eventually placing young Ramsha in prison for blasphemy charges.
To accuse an illiterate and mentally delayed child of blasphemy is completely inappropriate – Ramsha obviously did not have the capacity to understand what she was burning. Furthermore, the prison where she has been placed is a facility for adults and is not intended for minors. These events are nothing more than an act of oppression against a religious minority group, and must not be tolerated. By signing the petition below, you can demand that President Asif Ali Zardari drop all charges and allow this child to be released from prison.
Dear President Zardari,
Ramsha, an eleven-year-old girl with Down Syndrome, is currently being held in a Pakistani prison for charges of blasphemy. The child unknowingly burned pages from the Quran for fire, after having found them in a public garbage. How was this illiterate young girl supposed to recognize pages from the Quran? This incident was clearly an innocent mistake, and yet she is being held in a prison intended for adults, not minors. The harsh punishment against this Christian child is an act of intolerance against a religious minority and must be stopped.
You recently stated that vulnerable individuals must be protected from misuse of the blasphemy law. A mentally retarded child is incredibly vulnerable, and these charges against her are inappropriate and cruel. Please protect Ramsha by dropping all charges against her and allowing her immediate release from prison.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Beto Ruiz Alonso via Flickr.