02/18/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On January 14, Sneha, a 14-year-old Christian girl from Lahore, was kidnapped, forcefully married, and forcefully converted to Islam by a group of Muslim men. Five days after the abduction, however, police were able to rescue Sneha and return her to her family.
According to Sneha, she was kidnapped by a Muslim man named Zeeshan, who had previously proposed to her. Prior to the abduction, Sneha had refused his romantic advances.
On January 14, Zeeshan pushed Sneha into a vehicle while she was returning home from an academy where she was studying for her final exams. According to Sneha, she was then taken to an unknown location and was repeatedly raped by six men, including Zeeshan.
While abducted, Sneha’s captors forced her to sign some blank sheets of paper. These were later turned into a marriage certificate and a certificate of conversion to Islam. Sneha’s captors also threatened that she and her family would face serious consequences if she told anyone about the attack.
When Sneha’s family was made aware of her abduction, they reported to disappearance to the police. Five days later, after a court ordered the police to investigate, police officers were able to locate and rescue Sneha. However, her abductors, including Zeeshan, remain at large.
Abduction, forced marriage, and forced conversion to Islam remains a major issue faced by religious minorities in Pakistan. According to a study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, some 1,000 Christian and Hindu women and girls are affected by this issue every year. Perpetrators often get away with their crimes due to the religious identity of their victims and their use of religion.
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