Girl held captive by Muslim man in Pakistan forced into Islamic marriage
The family of a 12-year-old Christian girl from Pakistan’s Punjab province who was abducted by a Muslim man earlier this month fears she's been forcefully converted to Islam and married to her abductor, just as many other girls have been in the past.
The girl, identified as Meerab Abbas, has been missing since Nov. 2, although police later arrested two suspects, Asia News reported, adding that she lived with her mother, Farzana, a 45-year-old widow who works as a domestic worker in the Sahiwal area.
Meerab was allegedly abducted by 22-year-old man, identified as Muhammad Daud, a native of Balochistan province. A relative of the mother, Cecil George, was quoted as saying that Farzana’s mental health has deteriorated since her daughter’s abduction and she’s has been admitted to a hospital.
“Mareeb is only 12 years old, and she cannot marry,” Zahid Augustine, a pastor in Sahiwal, was quoted as saying. “The perpetrators commit these crimes in the name of religion. We just want justice.”
A 2014 report by The Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan estimated that hundreds of women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian communities are abducted, forcibly married and converted to Islam every year.