9/3/2020 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – Today, ICC published a petition calling for justice in the case of Huma Younus, a 15 year old Christian girl who was abducted almost a full year ago in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Despite attempts by her family to pursue her freedom in Pakistani courts, Huma remains in the custody of her abductors.
In October of 2019, Abdul Jabbar, a man commonly hired by the Younus family for transportation purposes, kidnapped Huma at gunpoint, who was 14 years old at the time. In the following days, Huma’s parents Younis and Nagheena received WhatsApp messages from Jabbar’s brother. The messages showed a series of documents, showing that Huma had been forcibly married to Jabbar and converted to Islam. Upon further examination, these documents had clearly been falsified, listing Huma as 18 years old to justify the marriage.
The parents filed a case in Pakistani courts to try and gain Huma’s freedom and have her returned. As a result, they received death threats, coming in the form of videos depicting Jabbar’s associates using threatening language while firing guns. Nevertheless, Huma’s parents continued to pursue legal action with little success.
In an early ruling, the local court validated Huma’s marriage to Jabbar, citing Islamic laws allowing marriage after a girl has begun her menstrual cycles, which Huma had. However, this law differs from Pakistani law. Specifically, the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act forbids marriage under the age of 18, clearly outlawing Huma’s marriage with Jabbar. Moreover, this is not the only law that would invalidate the marriage. According to Section 365-B of the Pakistan Penal Code, any marriage which takes place between an abductor and an abductee is invalid.
Huma’s parents appealed the case, again with no success, with the appellate court upholding the marriage and ruling that Huma is to stay in the custody of her abductors. Most recently, ICC learned that Huma is also now pregnant by Jabbar, and is being held in a single room.
ICC hopes that the petition, addressed to Chief Minister of Sindh Province Syed Murad Ali Shah, will call attention to the case among the authorities in Sindh in order to right the wrongs perpetuated by the court. Huma’s case is merely one in hundreds of similar cases, in which Christian and Hindu girls are abducted and forced to marry Muslim men and convert to Islam.
We urge you to please sign this petition to return Huma rightfully to her family and bring her abductors to justice.