Pakistan: abducted 13-year-old girl returned to her Christian family
On the 26th of March, the Sessions Court of Sahiwal ordered that a 13-year-old Christian girl named Saima Javaid be returned to her family 25 days after her abduction by two Muslim men. This order marks a rare victory for Pakistani Christians affected by abduction, forced conversion, and forced marriage.
The abduction took place when Saima was collecting water from a hand-pump hear her home on the 1st of March.
On the 26th of March, Saima appeared before the Sessions Court of Sahiwal and testified that she had been abducted and was forced not only to convert to Islam but also to marry one of the men. In response to this testimony, the judge ordered Saima be returned to her family and directed the police to take legal action against the two men.
“I was deeply depressed and thought of committing suicide when I lost my daughter,” Bibi told ICC. “Young Christian girls are not safe in this country. Muslims consider them as their property or slaves and therefore humiliate them as they wish.”
According to a study done by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan in 2014, approximately 1,000 Christians and Hindus, primarily girls and young women, are abducted, sexually assaulted, forcefully converted to Islam, and married to their abductors every single year.