'Forced conversion': LHC hands teenage Christian girl back in parents' custody

Published April 10, 2019
The girl stated before the court that she had been abducted, forcibly converted, sold and forcibly married to a Muslim man. — AP/File
The girl stated before the court that she had been abducted, forcibly converted, sold and forcibly married to a Muslim man. — AP/File

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday ordered that a teenage Christian girl — who was allegedly kidnapped, forcibly converted and married off to a Muslim man in Faisalabad — be handed back to her parents.

Justice Tariq Saleem Shaikh issued the order while hearing an application filed by Javed Masih of Faisalabad against the illegal confinement of his 14-year-old daughter. Speaking outside the court, the girl said she had reached her parents' home after managing to flee the house she was being kept in after 'marriage'.

Masih, who was represented in the court by Advocate Chaudhry Abdul Rasheed, contended in his petition that some members of the Christian community had abducted his teenage daughter and later "sold her off" to a Muslim man named Zafar.

He said after forcibly converting the girl to Islam, Zafar 'married' the underage girl.

A conversion certificate obtained by DawnNewsTV stated that the girl had been renamed as Ayesha after 'willingly' converting to Islam on February 20, 2019.

The girl, however, when produced before the court today by Faisalabad police said that she had been abducted, sold, forcibly converted, and then forcibly married to a Muslim man.

She told the court that she wanted to live with her parents.

After hearing all parties, the court ordered that the teenage girl be given in the custody of her parents.

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