Pakistani medical examiners have concluded that Rimsha Masih, the special-needs Christian girl accused of burning pages of the Quran, is a minor.
Masih, whom doctors determined to be between 13 and 14 years old, faces blasphemy charges, based on a Muslim neighbor's accusations. Blasphemy can be punished with life in prison or even death. But as a minor, Masih could get a more lenient sentence, if her trial goes to court and she is convicted.
The medical report prompted the court to postpone Masih's bail hearing, which was set for Tuesday morning.
Masih, who lives in Islamabad, has been imprisoned since her arrest earlier this month. Her attorney, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, plans to ask the court to dismiss the case. He said the accusations against Masih are not supported with adequate evidence. Even though locals accused her of burning pages of the holy book, police have not found any evidence to support that claim.
Chaudhry said Masih is being held in the Rawalpindi prison, where she is "weeping and crying," and begging for release. Her parents are in protective custody.
Hundreds of Christian families have fled the neighborhood where Masih lived, fearing a backlash from their Muslim neighbors. About 300 of the Christians who set up camp in a field outside the capital were evicted from the site Tuesday. Locals burned down their makeshift church.
"We are helpless. What can we do? We are just sitting here," said Naseem Javed, who held her 3-year-old son in her arms. "They don't even want us to have a place to pray."
Even if they are never convicted, Pakistanis accused of blasphemy can face vigilante justice. In July, thousands of people dragged a Pakistani man accused of desecrating the Quran from a police station, beat him to death and set his body alight.
But the All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, and the Pakistan Interfaith League urged for justice for Masih. The groups also demanded that those making false allegations be punished.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.