The girl, Rimsha Masih, was taken into custody earlier this month after angry neighbors surrounded her house in Islamabad and accused her of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Koran. Some say she was burning papers from the garbage for cooking. Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.
On Tuesday, her attorney, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, said a medical board has determined that the girl is 14 years old, but mentally younger than that. He told reporters in Islamabad that as a minor, Masih can be tried in the juvenile justice system.
Chaudhry said a bail hearing has been scheduled for Thursday.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has taken “serious note” of the girl's detention and called for a report on her arrest.
Human rights activists say the blasphemy law in Pakistan has been used to harass religious minorities and settle personal scores. Amnesty International last week called on the government to urgently reform its blasphemy laws and protect Masih and her family against possible intimidation or attack.
Last year, Pakistan's Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian member of the federal Cabinet, was gunned down in Islamabad. And Punjab province's governor, Salman Taseer, was killed by one of his bodyguards for opposing the controversial blasphemy law.
Christians are the largest non-Muslim religious minority in Pakistan, making up about 5 percent of the population.
The United States has called Masih's case “deeply disturbing” and urged Pakistan's government to protect not just its religious minority citizens, but also women and girls. VoA.