Victory in Court: Young Christian Girl’s Forced Marriage Annulled in Pakistan

In a significant legal victory, a Pakistan court has nullified the marriage of Reeha Saleem, a young Christian girl, to the man who kidnapped her.

Reeha was abducted at just 17 years old by her Muslim neighbor while returning home from school in Gujrat, Pakistan, in 2019.

During her captivity, she was compelled to abandon her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

Reeha endured two months in captivity before she successfully escaped and reunited with her family.

The Family Court in Pattoki delivered a ruling in favor of Reeha, stating that her marriage was coerced and her consent on the marriage certificate was forcibly obtained.

The legal battle was supported by the Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Tehmina Arora, director of advocacy in Asia for ADF International, expressed relief and joy at the court’s decision to annul the marriage.

Arora emphasized the broader implications of Reeha’s case, expressing hope that it would lead to legal reforms to protect other young women in Pakistan from forced marriages.

ADF International continues to advocate for legal changes in Pakistan, specifically to raise the minimum legal age for marriage to 18.

The annulment is seen as a pivotal moment for religious freedom and women’s rights in Pakistan, setting a precedent for future cases involving forced conversions and marriages.

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