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NCHR orders judicial review into Christian teenager’s forced conversion case


National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has directed for a judicial review into the case of a Christian girl forced to convert after abduction. Sana Shahid who is currently in custody of her abductor Waheed Akhtar, who claims to be her husband. Waheed presented fake marriage certificate before the court maintaining that she had converted to Islam and married him out of her free will.

Forced conversions in Pakistan

On April 26, Wednesday the National Commission for Human Rights heard Sana Shahid’s case. This case is being pursued by prominent Christian educationist Professor Anjum James Paul who has been urging authorities to secure recovery of the missing Christian girl.

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During this hearing, Reverend Father Sarfraz Simon and Ms. Romana Bashir were also present. Former Chief Justice of Pakistan (Retd) Ali Nawaz Chauhan who now heads the National Commission for Human Rights, presided the meeting. The NCHR has decided for the judicial review to cancel the bail of the culprit Waheed Akhtar, Professor Anjum told Christians in Pakistan.

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, resident of Mohallah Kasayian, Rodes Road, Mianapura, Sialkot had 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 had 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, the forged marriage certificate claims that Sana was 18 years of age. Family of the abductee is suffering from severe trauma. Her brother and sister Hina had left school, while Hina her sister was facing psychological difficulties after the incident.

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