Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy in Canada

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ISLAMABAD — A Christian girl who was accused of burning Islam’s holy book in a case that focused international attention on Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws was forced to move to Canada over security concerns, her lawyer said Saturday.

The girl left Pakistan with her parents, three sisters and a brother on March 14, attorney Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said.

A Muslim cleric who lobbied for her release, Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, said she had been facing threats and was moving constantly.

“I am sad that this innocent girl had to leave Pakistan. She had been acquitted by the court, and despite that it was not possible for her to live freely,” he said.

Canada’s immigration service said privacy concerns prevented them from saying whether she was in the country.

The girl was arrested in August in Islamabad after a Muslim cleric accused her of burning the Quran.

The cleric was later accused of fabricating evidence, and the girl was acquitted.

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