by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio for VT
In Pakistan, an honest and serious 14-year-old girl, Christian and proud of her virginity, can be kidnapped by a Muslim who wants her as his wife only because her kidnapper has a brother who is a security forces’s member. She can be forced to convert to Islam against her will and raped once, ten, a hundred times without anyone being able to help or free her.
Until the irreparable happens and she becomes pregnant, just as Muslims and Serbs used to do each other during the Balkan War on the female enemies.
Houma Younas turned 15 last May 22, in captivity, in the hands of the ogre who kidnapped her on October 10, 2019. Now her release becomes increasingly difficult, almost impossible because the High Court of Sindh, the province of Karachi, before which her case is pending for the legal action brought by her parents, she will find herself faced with the “fait accompli” of a single mother who for social reasons and in order not to cause scandal should be with the father of the child she brings In the womb.
Until a few days ago, it was also not yet set the hearings due to the pandemic emergency.
«Unfortunately in Pakistan, even if you are right, it is not so easy to obtain justice» explains Ms. Tabassum Yousaf, the family lawyer who denounced the kidnapper Adbul Jabbar for kidnapping, forced conversion and forced marriage. Not even the appeal to Pope Francis I of Pakistani parents but Christian Catholics.
Appeal to Pope for Huma Younas, 14yo Christian girl abducted by a Muslim and forcibly converted to Islam for marriage
A few weeks ago, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN international), the pontifical foundation that had already followed the tortuous story of Asia Bibi, freed after an interminable imprisonment amid a thousand abuses, which received a dramatic update on the personal and legal situation of this teenage girl kidnapped on October 10, 2019.
“Huma has telephoned her parents, telling them that she has now become pregnant as a result of the sexual violence she has been subjected to. Asked by her father if she could leave her abductor’s house and return to her parents home, she told him that she is not allowed to leave the house and that her life has become still more difficult, since she is now imprisoned within the walls of one room”, the lawyer, Mrs Yousaf explained.
The girl’s Muslim abductor, Abdul Jabbar, has a brother by the name of Mukhtiar who is a member of the Rangers, a branch of the security forces.
“This man has contacted Huma’s parents via video telephone calls and threatened them directly, showing them his weapons and telling them he would kill them if ever they should come looking for their daughter. This same man, Mukhtiar, has added in audio messages that even if all the Christians should band together to bring Huma back, he would kill both her parents and anyone who tried to help them.” said the lawyer.
Third Judicial Magistrate for Karachi East, had closed the case on the grounds of lack of proof. An appeal has been launched to the same judge to re-examine the documentary proof, and the magistrate thereupon contacted the official public records authority, NADRA, in order to obtain the girl’s birth certificate.
However, the lawyer for the girls family had already presented two official documents in the course of one of the earlier hearings which prove that she is under age – a sworn statement by her school and her baptismal certificate from her Catholic parish of Saint James in Karachi. Both documents clearly state Huma’s date of birth as 22 May 2005.
As for the High Court of Sindh, this is still closed on account of the coronavirus pandemic and so It’s unknown when will be possible to set a date for a hearing before this court.
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«The lawyer representing Huma’s abductor Jabbar is trying every legal trick in order to gain time, the family’s lawyer explained, because in three years time the girl will be 18 and it is highly likely that the case will then be shelved indefinitely» told ACN in its report.
«In theory, the Pakistani Supreme Court, which earlier acquitted Asia Bibi, could examine and rule on this case very rapidly, but the radical Islamic society in Pakistan does not allow the judicial system full autonomy. Moreover, when it is a matter of the rights of the religious minorities, there is a tendency to long delays, since these are considered neither a priority, nor urgent. The case of Asia Bibi, mentioned above, is eloquent testimony to this reality» wrote Aid to the Church in Need website.
With regard to the prevalence of the kind of phenomenon to which Huma Younus has fallen victim, the family’s lawyer Tabassum Yousaf told ACN that estimates have been made by many NGOs, based on the number of cases of abduction reported and made public, adding that not all cases are even reported. She concludes: “as a result, according to my reading, and based on experience, there are around 2000 such cases per year, whether reported or not.”
Mrs Yousaf continues, “Justice delayed is justice denied, hence every delay in reaching judgement on the defence of the rights of religious minorities represents a denial of these rights. The court has delayed and continues to delay justice on behalf of Huma, solely because she is an underage Christian girl. If a similar case were to happen in regard to an underage Muslim girl, all the authorities would act immediately. As a lawyer I am certain that the president of the Pakistani Supreme Court could grant justice to the parents of the girl and to Huma herself. However, at every other lower level of the judicial system justice for the minorities will not be possible”, she concludes bitterly.
Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
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