Christian girl, 14, abducted in Pakistan, forced to wed kidnapper and renounce her faith
Evidence was produced to show Maira is 19 years old, including a birth certificate, official Church and school documents. The family lawyer said he would appeal the decision, taking the case to Lahore High Court and if necessary Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which in October 2018 sensationally overturned the case of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman on death row for blasphemy.
A mother in Pakistan has spoken of her distress after a man struck while the country was in lockdown, abducting the woman’s 14-year-old daughter, forcing her to marry him and abandon her Christian faith for Islam.
Faisalabad Magistrates Court ruled in favor of Mohamad Nakash, who claimed that Catholic girl Maira Shahbaz is 19 in spite of evidence being produced to show she is five years younger, including a birth certificate, as well as official Church and school documents.
The family’s lawyer, Khalil Tahir Sandhu, said that in court Mr. Nakash produced fabricated documents allegedly showing that he and Maira had married last October when she was still 14.
ACN, which supports people accused of blasphemy in Pakistan, providing legal and paralegal aid, also spoke to Maira’s older sister, Saira, 16, who said: “Maira is still a child and has been taken advantage of. She loves singing and I miss her and her singing so much.”
Mr. Sandhu said that Mr. Nakash is already married and has two children and came across Maira as he lives not far from her home near Madina Town, where he works as a barber.
About 1,000 Christian and Hindu women and girls are abducted every year in Pakistan, according to the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, a human rights organization in the country.
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