02 November, 2007

Pakistan:An 18-year-old Christian woman raped and forced to convert to Islam

A young Christian woman from Faisalabad is abducted by a Muslim man after visiting an aunt. She was held for ten days and forcibly converted to Islam. Despite a complaint from the victim’s father, the police have not yet taken any steps fearing the religious repercussions they may have.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – A young Christian woman was kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam by a Muslim man in Faisalabad, Khalil Tahir, chairman of “Adal Trust,” a free legal aid organisation that helps minorities, told AsiaNews.

According to early reports, 18-year-old Razia went to visit her aunt on October 21 but never came home. Her parents went out looking for her but to no avail. They also contacted a Muslim man, Sajid, who had harassed her in the past, but he denied any knowledge of her whereabouts.

Razia did eventually make it home on October 31 in a state of shock. She told her parents that Sajid had abducted her, repeatedly raped her and forced her to convert to Islam. She is currently under medical care.

“The girl’s father went to the police to file a complaint on the evening of Razia’s return, but they were reluctant to register the case fearing that it might get out of proportion because of its religious element,” Khalil Tahir told AsiaNews.

For the time being “that man is free,” he said. “He can do whatever he wants,” he added, “but as a lawyer I’ll do everything in my power to help the family get justice in a Pakistani court.”

- By Qaiser Felix

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