12-Year-Old Christian Girl Farah Shaheen, Kidnapped and Forced Into Marriage Reunites With Her Family

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A Christian man, Asif Masih, was overwhelmed with joy to have his 12-year-old daughter, Farah Shaheen, back home on Tuesday (Feb. 16) in Faisalabad, Pakistan following her alleged kidnapping and forcible conversion and marriage to a 45-year-old Muslim for five months.

“Praise God, for He has answered our prayers and rescued my daughter,” Masih said hours after Faisalabad Session. Judge Rana Masood Akhtar ordered that Farah Shaheen be released from a government shelter “because she wants to go with him.”

In a Jan. 23 hearing, Farah had told the court that she wanted to live with her so-called husband, Khizar Hayat – a statement made under threats and pressure at the shelter, her lawyer said.

The court verdict states that since the marriage between Farah and Hayat was not registered and a Nikahnama (Islamic marriage contract) was not verified by the area union council, she could not be kept in the shelter indefinitely.

“She’s deeply traumatized and fearful, but my child is very happy to be back in her family,” Masih told Morning Star News. “Just when we thought that we had lost her, this miracle happened. May God keep all daughters in His protection.”

Farah Shaheen

Farah Shaheen

Masih, a Roman Catholic daily wage laborer, had fought for Farah’s recovery since she was allegedly kidnapped by three Muslims from the family’s home in the Ahmedabad area of Faisalabad in June. The child was allegedly raped, forcibly converted to Islam and forced to marry Hayat.

Although intercourse with a girl below age 16 is statutory rape in Pakistan, in most cases a falsified conversion certificate and Nikahnama influences police and courts to pardon kidnappers.

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Hayat was taken into custody and released on bail, but he has yet to be charged for alleged kidnapping or rape, and fears for Farah’s security remain.

Police found Farah chained in the suspect’s home on Dec. 5 after Masih reported she had been kidnapped on June 25, and a judge ordered her to be kept in police custody; she was then sent to a government-run shelter home while her case went to court.

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About Author

Titilayo is an educationist, author and freelance writer. She's also a kingdom promoter and enjoys travelling as well as reading.

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