Constrained conversion: Abducted Christian girl flees after forcibly given into marriage with the abductor

695

A young Christian girl namely Sobia Nadeem forced into marriage to a Muslim after her abduction. The Christian girl was forced into conversion by given in marriage to one of her Muslim abductors. The girl who hails from Sahiwal was taken away from Lahore, where she was pursuing a Master’ degree in Physics. After abduction the girl was brought to Sahiwal, where she was forced into marriage with Mohammad Hamza.

Pakistani Christian girls forced to convert to Islam

After marrying her, Hamza took Sobia to Depalpur where she was confined in a house. Fortunately she was able to break away after the abductors left the door unlocked one day, she absconded and reached her home in Sahiwal. She found her mother near to death followed by her abduction. Her family had not filed a police complaint, due to public shaming and social enigma.

Also Read: Lahore High Court moved seeking right for minorities to elect their representatives

Soon, Muhammad Hamza learnt that Sobia had reached home and was living with her family, he filed a police compliant against Sobia’s two young brothers claiming they had forcibly kept his wife in their custody. Additional Sessions Judge Sahiwal heard the case. Muhammad Hamza claimed that Sobia had converted to Islam, and her Christian family wanted to kill her over her conversion. He pleaded the court to direct the police to recover Sobia from the Christian family’ custody.

Sobia’s defence counsel Javed Sahotra represented the Christian family in the court and presented substantial arguments before the court. Attorney Javed Sahotra was able to prove in the court that the marriage certificate presented by Muhammad Hamza was based on forced marriage after abduction and that the girl was forced to convert to Islam, therefore, her marriage with Hamza must be declared null and void. He maintained that Sobia, being a Christian cannot be given in custody of a non-Muslim.

The court also recorded a statement of Sobia, who said, “I am living with my mother with my own free will and free consent.” She stated the actual facts surrounding her abduction, forced marriage and conversion. Consequently, the court set Sobia free and permitted her to stay with her mother.

After losing the case, Hamza attempted to kidnap Sobia from the court premises, however, did not succeed in doing so. Later on, he started harassing and intimidating the Christian family to hand over the girl to him. Hamza maintains that Sobia had converted to Islam and that she cannot reside with Christians. Muhammad Hamza had threatened the Christian family of dire consequences if they girl was not handed over to him.