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Pakistani court frees teen from forced marriage to her abductor

by Premier Journalist
Reeha Saleem.png thumb.png - Banner image
Reeha Saleem / Photo Credit: ADF International

A Pakistan court has annulled the marriage between a young Christian girl and the man who abducted her.

Reeha Saleem had been forced to convert from Christianity to Islam after she was captured aged just 17 by her Muslim neighbour on her way home from school in the Gujrat district of Pakistan in 2019 and forced to convert to Islam.

Reeha, who was a student at the time, was kept captive for two months before she managed to escape and reunite with her mother.

The Family Court in Pattoki, Pakistan ruled in Reeha's favour concluding she had not married her abductor by choice and that her signature on the marriage certificate had been obtained by coercion.

Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) supported Reeha's defence.

“We are overjoyed that the court has annulled Reeha’s forced marriage and that she will be able to finally move on from this ordeal,” said Tehmina Arora, director of advocacy in Asia for ADF International.

 “No girl should suffer the horrors of abduction and forced marriage, further being forced to give up their faith. It is our hope that the annulment of Reeha’s forced marriage will be a positive step forward for the thousands of women and girls in Pakistan who are facing similar ordeals."

The American legal advocacy group champions religious freedom and are pushing for a change in the law in Pakistan to make 18 the minimum legal age to get married.

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