A 12-year-old Christian girl who was allegedly abducted, raped and forced to marry a man who kept her chained up in a cattle pen in Pakistan has been rescued.
The underage girl spent five months bound in the 45-year-old Muslim man’s yard where she would work all day clearing animal dung. Police rescued the youngster in Faisalabad last month and found cuts from the shackles on her ankles.
The case has been taken up by Christian charities who claim a number of girls are being abducted and forced into marriage in Pakistan, according to The Telegraph.
Human rights groups say an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu girls are kidnapped each year and forced to convert to Islam. Aid to the Church in Need said the girl’s family made repeated complaints to the police but they were ignored for months.
Her father said: ‘[She] has told me she was treated like a slave. She was forced to work all day, cleaning filth in a cattle yard. 24-7, she was attached to a chain.’ The family say the girl was abducted on June 12 last year and she was raped multiple times.
Aid to the Church in Need
Despite making multiple complaints to the police, the father was not able to file an official report until September. He said police even made racial comments about him and threatened to charge him with blasphemy.
The father also criticized a court-commissioned medical report which found the girl was aged 16 or 17, even though her birth certificate states she is 12. She has been placed in a women’s refuge while investigations are ongoing.
Aid to the Church in Need says the case calls into question how Britain is spending its overseas aid, with £302million going to Pakistan.
The charity says the government should do more to tackle Christian persecution abroad rather than support regimes where child marriage takes place.
In November, Maira Shahbaz went into hiding after being accused of apostasy for breaking off a forced marriage, prompting an outcry
Asylum to a 14-year-old Christian girl
In November, campaigners urged the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to offer asylum to a 14-year-old Christian girl being hunted by Islamist death squads after fleeing her forced marriage to a Muslim man 30 years her senior.
Catholic altar server Maira Shahbaz, who was abducted at gunpoint and gang-raped before her wedding, is in hiding after being accused of apostasy for breaking off the marriage – an offence punishable by death in Islam.
More than 9,000 people signed a petition asking Mr Johnson to grant the teenager and her family asylum in Britain to save her from ‘certain death’.
Maira claims she was abducted on April 28 and held prisoner in a basement. She alleges that her captors drugged and raped her before forcing her to convert to Islam to marry. He denies her claims.