LAHORE, Pakistan — A Christian widow facing life imprisonment in Pakistan on a blasphemy charge has been released on bail.
Morning Star News, quoting an attorney, says Musarrat Bibi was released May 13 on a bond of 100,000 rupees ($338).
Bibi and co-worker Muhammad Sarmad, a Muslim, were arrested in April and charged with blasphemy for burning papers that reportedly bore verses from the Quran.
The attorney said both Bibi and Sarmad are illiterate and, therefore, did not burn the pages intentionally. The attorney said proving intent is necessary for a blasphemy conviction.
On April 15, an administrator at Government Girls Higher Secondary School in 66-EB village of Pakpattan District told Bibi and Sarmad to clean a storeroom at the school. In the process of cleaning, Bibi and Sarmad burned paper and other scraps on a fire outside.
Teachers and students complained to the administration about seeing burned pages from the Quran.
On April 19, a local Muslim called the police, accusing only Bibi. The Muslim also orchestrated a protest outside the school.
An attorney told Morning Star that police arrested Bibi and Sarmad to quell unrest.
Sarmad was released under the same terms as Bibi, one attorney said.
Pakistan is No. 7 on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.
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