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ICC Note:

The National Commission for Human Rights has heard the case of a Christian girl that was abducted, forced to convert to Islam, and then was married to one of her abductors. Christians in Pakistan claim the abduction and forced conversion of women and girls is one of the major issues faced by their community. According to the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, as many as 700 Christian women and girls between the ages of 12 to 25 are abducted, forcefully converted, and forcefully married each year.

04/28/2017 Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) – The National Commission for Human Rights heard the case of a Christian girl forced to convert to Islam after being abducted. A prominent Christian educator, Professor Anjum James Paul, had urged authorities to secure recovery of the missing Christian girl, Sana Shahid. For this reason, Professor Anjum recently met with the Chairman of National Commission for Human Rights and discussed the progress of the case.

Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Ali Nawaz Chauhan, who now heads National Commission for Human Rights, presided over the meeting. Professor Anjum, Reverend Father Sarfraz Simon, Romana Bashir and others were also present during the meeting held on Wednesday, April 26. Professor Anjum stated that he shall continue with this case until the girl is recovered from the custody of her abductors.

According to details, Sana Shahid, a Christian student who hails from Sialkot, was abducted and forcibly married to a Muslim man. The abductor, Wahid Akhtar, son of Muhammad Bashir, a resident of Mohallah Kasayian, Rodes Road, Mianapura, Sialkot, abducted Sana Shahid while she was on her way to her school. Sana was a student at Government Girls Primary School, Mianapura (West) Sialkot.

The abductor presented a marriage certificate before the court claiming that she had married him and converted out of her free will. Sana’s family claims, and has credible proof, that Sana was legally below the age of getting married. However, a forged marriage certificate claims that Sana is 18 years of age.

According to Sana’s birth certificate, issued by the Punjab Government, Catholic Church Certificate and School certificate, her date of birth is April 17, 2002. In line with these documents, it was proven that she was 13-years-old at the time of abduction.

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