Christian girl abducted and forced into Islamic marriage is now pregnant, says family's lawyer

Published 23 July 2020  |  
(Credit: Aid to the Church in Need)
Huma Younus, the girl at the centre of the forced conversion case

A Christian teenage girl abducted and forced to marry a Muslim man in Pakistan is now pregnant and confined to a single room, the family's lawyer has said.

Huma Younus, 15, was kidnapped last October and forced to convert to Islam before being forced to marry Abdul Jabbar.

She told her family by phone that she has become pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her abductor, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reports.

Tabassum Yousaf, the family's lawyer, told ACN: "Asked by her father if she could leave her abductor's house and return to her parents' home, she told him that she is not allowed to leave the house and that her life has become still more difficult.

"[S]he is now imprisoned within the walls of one room."

Younus was 14 at the time of her abduction. Her parents have been fighting for her freedom and attempted to contest the marriage in court, arguing that it was invalid under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act because Huma is a minor.

But in an astonishing ruling in February, the Sindh High Court in Karachi sided with the abductor by ruling that men can marry underage girls as long as they have had their first period.

Yousaf said Huma's parents have received death threats from Jabbar's brother, Mukhtiar, a member of the Pakistani security forces' Rangers division.

"This same man, Mukhtiar, has added in audio messages that even if all the Christians should band together to bring Huma back, he would kill both her parents and anyone who tried to help them," Yousaf said.

The family are appealing the Sindh High Court's decision but a hearing has already been delayed due to coronavirus.

Yousaf fears that Huma's case will be subjected to repeated delays until she turns 18, after which time it is unlikely to be heard.

He said this was a common problem with cases involving religious minorities.

"Justice delayed is justice denied, hence every delay in reaching judgement on the defense of the rights of religious minorities represents a denial of these rights," Yousaf said.

"The court has delayed and continues to delay justice on behalf of Huma, solely because she is an underage Christian girl."

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