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Pakistani Court Validates Marriage of Abducted Christian Teen to 44-Year-Old Muslim Man

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Pakistan – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the High Court of Sindh has used an interpretation of Sharia law to validate the marriage of Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Christian girl, to Ali Azhar, a 44-year-old Muslim man. Arzoo’s parents claim that Azhar forcefully married their teenage daughter after she was abducted from her family home and forcefully converted to Islam earlier this month.

Arzoo’s parents claim that their daughter was abducted from their home located in the Railway Colony of Karachi, Pakistan on October 13. Raja, Arzoo’s father, reported the incident to local police and filed a First Information Report (FIR). Two days later, on October 15, Arzoo’s family was summoned to the police station and informed that Arzoo had married Azhar and willingly converted to Islam. Police claim that Azhar produced a marriage certificate stating that Arzoo was 18 years old.

In an attempt to bring their daughter home, Arzoo’s parents challenged the validity of the marriage in court, claiming that it violates the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act. According to this act, marriages of minors under the age of 18 are illegal. To prove their claim, the couple produced a copy of Arzoo’s birth certificate, documenting her as 13 years old.

However, on Tuesday, October 27, the High Court of Sindh ruled in favor of the marriage, applying an interpretation of Sharia law that allows for underage marriages. The court order confirming the marriage read:

“The petitioner initially belonged to the Christian religion. However, after the passage of time, the petitioner understood and realized that Islam is a universal religion and she asked her parents and other family members to embrace Islam, but they flatly refused. Subsequently, she accepted the religion of Islam before the religious person of Madressah Jamia Islamia. After embracing Islam, her new name is Arzoo Fatima; per learned counsel petitioner contracted her marriage to Azhar of her own free will and accord without duress and fear. After registration of FIR police started harassing the petitioner. They are unable to pass a happy life. The SHO is directed to provide protection to the newly wedded wife.”

“The pattern in the high court is a replica of what we have seen in the past,” Sabir Michael, a human rights activist, told the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN). “The parents of Arzoo even touched the feet of the police to meet their daughter. We have never witnessed such helplessness. My heart was broken today.”

This is the second time in which the High Court of Sindh has used Sharia law to justify an underage marriage in a forced conversion case. On February 3, the same court concluded that Huma Younas, a 14-year-old Christian girl, was legally married to Abdul Jabbar, an adult Muslim man. Similar to Arzoo’s case, Huma’s parents claim that their daughter was abducted from the family home and forcefully converted to Islam before being forcibly married to Jabbar.

According to a 2014 study by The Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community are abducted, forcefully married to their captors, and forcibly converted to Islam every year. The issue of religion is also often injected into cases of sexual assault to place religious minority victims at a disadvantage. Playing upon religious biases, perpetrators know that they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing the element of religion.

William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are deeply saddened by the court’s decision to validate the marriage of a 13-year-old girl to an adult man. This decision has placed Arzoo’s safety at risk and will likely mean any testimony she is able to give in court will be tainted by the threats she will endure in the custody of her alleged abductor. Pakistan must do more to combat the issue of abductions, forced marriages, and forced conversions. For too long, perpetrators have used religion to justify their crimes against Pakistan’s religious minorities.”
Sources:persecution

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A woman has been arrested in Sweden for locking her son in an apartment for 28 years

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Stockholm: A mother in Sweden has been arrested on suspicion of locking her son inside their apartment for 28 years, leaving him undernourished and with almost no teeth, police and media reports said Tuesday.

“The mother is suspected of illegal deprivation of liberty and causing bodily harm,” Stockholm police spokesman Ola Osterling told.

He said the man had been “locked up for a very long time” in the apartment in a southern Stockholm suburb, but would not comment on reports in dailies news that he had been held for 28 years.

The reports said the mother had pulled her son out of school when he was 12 and kept him locked inside the apartment since then.

An unnamed relative found the now 41-year-old man on Sunday after the mother, in her 70s, had been taken to hospital, news reported.

The man had infected sores on his legs, could barely walk, had almost no teeth and limited speech ability, the reports said.

Osterling would not comment on those details, saying only: “The man is in hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening.”

The mother has denied the crimes, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.

‘Urine, dirt and dust’

Doctors at the hospital had alerted police to the case.

Police tape was stretched across the apartment’s door on Tuesday, and crime scene technicians were seen leaving the scene around midday, an AFP photographer said.

The apartment is located in a non-descript grey and yellow low-rise building in the working class suburb of Handen in Haninge municipality.

The unidentified relative who found the man said the apartment looked like it had not been cleaned in years.

“There was urine, dirt and dust. It smelled rotten,” she told Expressen, adding that she had to wade through piles of junk to get through the hallways.

“No one could have cleaned that home for many years.”

“I’m in shock, brokenhearted, but at the same time relieved. I’ve been waiting for this day for 20 years because I figured out that she was totally controlling his life, but I never imagined the extent of it,” she said.

“I knew he was there and that he must be scared because his mother was his only sense of security and now she was gone,” she added.

There was no immediate explanation for the mother’s alleged actions.

“She stole his life from him and manipulated the people around her in order to keep her secret,” the relative said.

“I’m just thankful that he got help and is going to survive.”

One unidentified neighbour, who lived in the same building, told Aftonbladet that she ran into the man at a nearby grocery store a few months ago.

“I know who you are, you’re my neighbour,” the man had told her, recognising her after having seen her through the window, she said.

‘How could no one have noticed?’

But most others in the neighbourhood told local media they hadn’t seen the man for years.

“They almost never went outside, never even opened the windows for fresh air. It’s been holed up,” another woman from the building told Aftonbladet.

Many neighbours wondered why neither social services, the school nor any other authority ever checked in on the boy over the years.

“And when we’ve had renovations done in the building, how can no one have noticed? Workmen have been here,” one woman told Aftonbladet.

Another woman said she occasionally ran into the mother.

“We talked about small stuff, like you do. Sometimes I asked about the boy, and she just said he was fine, she never really talked about him,” she said.

She however added that she found it odd that their window was never open, and the same candlestick had been in the window for 30 years.

“But what can you do? How do you know what’s going on behind closed doors? It’s all so awful, you can’t believe it’s true,” she said.

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യേശുവിനെ തള്ളിപറയാഞ്ഞതിനു പാസ്റ്ററെയും രണ്ടു കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങളെയും ഉഗാണ്ടയിൽ സുവിശേഷവിരോധികൾ കൊലപ്പെടുത്തി

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കിബുക്കു: രാജ്യത്ത് നടന്ന ദാരുണമായ സംഭവം പാസ്റ്ററുടെയും രണ്ട് ക്രിസ്ത്യൻ കുട്ടികളുടെയും മരണത്തിലേക്ക് നയിച്ചു
പാസ്റ്ററുടെ ഒപ്പമുണ്ടായിരുന്ന ഇമ്മാനുവൽ ഹമുസ പറയുന്നതിങ്ങനെ: “നവംബർ 23 ന് അവരെ പാസ്റ്റരെ നേരിട്ടു. തന്റെ ക്രിസ്തീയ വിശ്വാസം ഉപേക്ഷിക്കണമെന്ന് അവർ ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടു. പാസ്റ്റർ വിസമ്മതിച്ചതിനെത്തുടർന്ന്, സഹോദര-സഹോദരിമാരും പിതൃ അമ്മാവനും കിബുക്കു ജില്ലയിലെ വീടിന് പുറത്ത് പാസ്റ്റരെ ആക്രമിച്ചതായി മോണിംഗ് സ്റ്റാർ ന്യൂസ് റിപ്പോർട്ട് ചെയ്യുന്നു.

“ഞങ്ങളുടെ കുടുംബത്തിന് അപമാനമായ ഈ ക്രിസ്തീയ വിശ്വാസം നിങ്ങൾ ഉപേക്ഷിക്കണം” എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ് അഞ്ച് കുടുംബാംഗങ്ങൾ അദ്ദേഹത്തെ തല്ലുകയും കുത്തുകയും ചെയ്തു, ഹമുസ വിശദീകരിച്ചു.

“അവരുടെ ആവശ്യത്തിന് വഴങ്ങാൻ ഞാൻ വിസമ്മതിച്ചു, അവർ എന്നോട് യുദ്ധം ചെയ്യാൻ തുടങ്ങി,” ഹമുസ പറഞ്ഞു. “മറ്റ് ആക്രമണകാരികൾ എന്റെ കുട്ടിയുടെ കഴുത്തിൽ കാലുകുത്തി നിൽക്കുമ്പോൾ ശ്വാസം മുട്ടി ദാരുണാവസ്ഥയിലായി.”
വൈദ്യസഹായം ലഭിക്കുന്നതിന് മുമ്പ് ഹമുസയുടെ ആറുവയസ്സുള്ള മകൻ മരിച്ചു. ഭാവിയിൽ കുറ്റവാളികളുടെ ആക്രമണത്തെ ഭയന്ന് ഭയാനകമായ സംഭവം പോലീസിനെ അറിയിച്ചിട്ടില്ല.

പാസ്റ്റർ വിൽസൺ നിവമന്യയും 12 വയസ്സുള്ള മകനും ഒരു ക്രിസ്ത്യൻ വിശ്വാസിയും നവംബർ 21 തീവ്രവാദികൾ അവരുടെ അടുത്തെത്തിയപ്പോൾ ഡെമോക്രാറ്റിക് റിപ്പബ്ലിക്ക് ഓഫ് കോംഗോയ്ക്ക് മതപരമായ രചനകൾ നൽകി,മൂർച്ചയേറിയ വസ്തുക്കളും സോമാലിയൻ വാളും ഉപയോഗിച്ച് തീവ്രവാദികൾ ആയുധധാരികളാണെന്ന് തൊഴിലാളി പറഞ്ഞു.

“ നമ്മുടെ മതത്തെ അവഹേളിച്ചതിന് ഈ മനുഷ്യൻ മരിക്കണം ”എന്ന് തൊഴിലാളി ഒരു മോർണിംഗ് സ്റ്റാർ ന്യൂസിനോട് പറഞ്ഞു. ആക്രമണകാരികൾ മൂർച്ചയേറിയ വസ്തുക്കളാൽ അടിച്ചുകൊണ്ടാണ് തുടങ്ങിയത്, തുടർന്ന് വാൾ ഉപയോഗിച്ച് കുട്ടിയെ വയറ്റിൽ കുത്തുകയായിരുന്നു. പാസ്റ്ററും ഞാനും ആക്രമണകാരികളുമായി പ്രതിരോധിക്കാൻ ശ്രമിക്കുന്നതിനിടയിലാണ് അദ്ദേഹം മരിച്ചത്” അദ്ദേഹം കൂട്ടിച്ചേർത്തു
അക്രമികൾ ഓടി രക്ഷപ്പെട്ടു, പാസ്റ്റർ നിവമന്യയെ കിസോറോയിലെ ഒരു മെഡിക്കൽ സൗകര്യത്തിലേക്ക് അതിവേഗം കൊണ്ടുപോയി. തലയ്ക്ക് പരിക്കേറ്റ അദ്ദേഹം നവംബർ 24 ന് മരിച്ചു.

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യേശുവിനെ തള്ളിപറയാഞ്ഞതിനു പാസ്റ്ററെയും രണ്ടു കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങളെയും ഉഗാണ്ടയിൽ സുവിശേഷവിരോധികൾ കൊലപ്പെടുത്തി

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