09/29/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On September 16, Samra Bibi, a 14-year-old Christian Pakistani living in Faisalabad, was abducted by a radical Muslim man, Muhammad Ramiz, and four accomplices while her family was out of the house. As a result of her capture, she was forcibly converted and married. According to Samra’s father, Munir, her abductor had “long set his eyes on young Christian women and teased them”.
Immediately after the family understood that she had been kidnapped, Munir and Samra’s brother rushed to the police station. However, upon their arrival, the authorities refused to register their official complaint. Instead, the lead investigator insulted the family aggressively.
Finally, on September 18, the police submitted their testimony. When they did so, Munir says the authorities made a note, changing Samra’s age to 16, and therefore of legal marrying age. After the official complaint was submitted, Samra’s family experienced a brief victory as Ramiz was arrested.
Just an hour later, police released Ramiz after experiencing pressure from radicals and receiving a bribe. Now, nearly 10 days later, no progress has been made to Samra’s benefit.
Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan, told TellAsia, that “minority girls are an easy target for kidnappings, conversions and forced marriages. They are weak victims of blackmail, rape and murder”.
Earlier this year in April, another Pakistani Christian in Faisalabad testified against her captor after her release. In another case, a Sikh girl was returned home after a media campaign and government intervention. While there are success stories of forced conversions, these kidnappings occur frequently in northern India against young women.