Pakistani Catholic girl’s kidnapper accused of rape — lawyers want the court to add other charges
A young Catholic girl, Arzoo Raja, was forcibly converted to Islam and forced into an Islamic marriage last October before being released by the police. Now she resides in a foster home under the authority of social assistance, and the legal battle over her case continues.
A court in Karachi has formalised the charges against Arzoo Raja’s kidnapper, the Muslim Azhar Ali, indicting him for violating the law that prohibits child marriage, which provides for up to two years of imprisonment.
Another crime is that of rape, which means imprisonment for at least ten years and, in some cases, also the death penalty. This is what Fides learnt from Mohammad Jibran Nasir, a lawyer for the victim’s family after the court issued orders on the 9th of December.
The lawyers, Arzoo’s family and the entire Christian community hope that the trial can end with an exemplary sentence, so that these cases of kidnapping and forced conversion, widespread in Pakistani society in particular, that generally go unpunished, can find the protection of justice in such a way that the phenomenon can be eradicated.