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Mar-16-2013 12:31printcomments

Forced Marriage Of Minor Christian Girl Declared Illegal By Court

"We are thankful for those who supported us for the justice and we demand that the Culprits should be punished according to law," - father of Rafia Mansh

14-year old Rafia Mansha
14-year old Rafia Mansha

(PATTOKI, Pakistan) - Last December 2012, Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Yousaf and two others whose identities are unknown, abducted and kidnapped a Christian girl, 14-year old Rafia Mansha, while she was walking to a field to pick up raw vegetables with a Muslim lady named, Zulaikhan Bibi, for her family.

That evening when she did not come back to home, her mother told her husband, Mansha Masih, after he returned home from work, that their daughter was abducted and kidnapped. He reported the matter to respectable locality members; some Christians and Muslims, and also informed Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill, the national Director of LEAD.

Under pressure from police and respectable, local community members, the culprits handed over the abducted girl to the Christian family - but claimed that she had been married with Muhammad Imran and had also accepted Islam.

Muhammad Imran filed petition in Session Court in Pattoki, for the recovery of Rafia Mansha from her family. On the 4th of February, 2013, the Session Court dismissed his petition due to the statement of Rafia Mansha. Rafia stated in court that she was abducted, had been forcibly married, and had not accepted Islam.

The Culprit submitted one more petition in family court for conjugal right which was dismissed by the court. Mustaq Gill said, "We filed petition in Family Court Pattoki for jactitation (In English law, jactitation is the maliciously boasting or giving out by one party that he or she is married to the other.) of marriage which was accepted and the family Court passed a decree in favor of Rafia Mansha by declaring and ordering the marriage certificated is forged, illegal and void.

On 5 February 2013, a First Incident Report (FIR) No 79/13 was registered against the culprits and they have filed bail petition in court in which next date of hearing is 19 March 2013.

We are pressurized and threatened by the culprits again and again from different ways," said Mansha Masih, father of Rafia Mansha. "I am vegetables seller and my income is very short and the daily earning on which my family depends and it is difficult to remain on leave," Mansha said.

"We are thankful for those who supported us for the justice and we demand that the Culprits should be punished according to law," Mansha told Advocate Sardar Mushtaq.

LEAD is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization. They are dedicated and committed to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty, discrimination, forced labor(slavery), forced conversion and those falsely accused of blasphemy laws. As followers of Jesus, we are motivated by God’s love to serve all people regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.