ASIA/PAKISTAN – Young Christian woman abducted and forced into Islamic marriage

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – Fouzia, 25 year old Christian woman, married and mother of three children, was abducted on July 23 by Muhammad Nazir a Muslim aged 55, father of eight children. The man forced Fouzia to convert to Islam and become his wife. Fides was informed that the man is a land owner and that Fouzia and her poor farm-worker family, live and work on his land in the area of Pattoki, in Punjab.
At first the family was too afraid to report the abduction and waited for the return of their daughter. In reply to several requests for her return, the family was told by Nazir that Fouzia had become a Muslim and was now his wife. Nazir threatened that if Fouzia were to make any trouble there would be serious consequences.
Fouzia’s family, very poor, went to Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill for help. With help from the lawyer, the mother of the victim reported the event to the police.
Gill tells Fides: “Cases like this are common, but in this case the abductor is a married man and the abducted Christian woman is also married”, and this element could save her.
“Usually – he continued – episodes like this proceed in the following manner: the family of the victim presents a complaint. The abductor lodges a counter-complaint affirming that the woman made a voluntary decision. In most cases the victims are minors, young adolescent girls. They suffer sexual violence, forced prostitution, domestic abuse and even sold to human traffickers”. Only rarely, concludes Gill who will give free legal assistance to Fouzia’s family, such cases end with the return of the girls to their original families. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/7/2015)


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