Down Syndrome Children at Rimini

Event Follows Accusation Against Pakistani Girl

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 22, 2012 ( This Friday a group of Down Syndrome children will be present at the stand of the Italian pro-life group “Movimento Per la Vita,” presenting a musical concert.

Pino Morandini, an Italian magistrate and vice president of the pro-life group, explained to ZENIT that many don’t understand just how much affection Down Syndrome children are capable of giving.

In fact, he said, some mothers have told him that the affection they receive from their child with Down Syndrome is equivalent to the affection received from all their other children put together.

The event follows on the heels of news from Pakistan that Rimsha Mashi, a girl with Down Syndrome, has been imprisoned following accusations of blasphemy.

The 11-year-old girl is alleged to have burnt some pages of the Noorani Qaida, a religious textbook used to teach the Koran to children. The offense is supposed to have occurred on August 17 in the city of Islamabad.

Asia News reported that according to a Pakistani Catholic politician and minister for National Harmony, Paul Bhatti, the girl is not guilty of anything. She is being held in the Adiala jail, in Rawalpindi.

The bishop of Islamabad, Rufin Anthony, also declared that the girl had not done what she is accused of and said that she is traumatized by what has happened, Asia news reported.

Moreover, he continued, the extremists actions have put the lives at risk not only of Mashi and her family but also those of other Christian families. According to Asia News about 300 Christian families have already fled the area in which Mashi’s family live.

Commenting on the matter to ZENIT, Morandini said that if the girl were to be found guilty it would be a grave setback to the way in which those who are most vulnerable are treated.

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