VATICAN CITY -- The Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy was granted bail Friday after three weeks in police custody.
The judge, who ordered the girl's release on a bail of about $5,282, said there was insufficient evidence to justify continuing to hold Rimsha Masih in jail. However, the case against her was not dismissed.
Investigations continue both into accusations that Rimsha burned pages of the Quran -- a violation of Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws -- as well as into the actions of Khalid Jadoon Chishti, a Muslim cleric, who was taken into police custody Sept. 2 after being accused of planting the pages of the Quran and burned pieces of paper in the girl's bag.
Rimsha had been in police custody since Aug. 18. Her parents said she is 11 years old and has Down syndrome; a court-appointed physician reported she was about 14 and is developmentally delayed.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Pakistani bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace, told Vatican Radio the bail was high for Pakistan and certainly beyond the means of Rimsha's family, but donations were expected to cover it. The girl was released Sunday.