Nayab Gill, 13, new figure in conversions and forced marriages in Pakistan

The young Christian was kidnapped on May 20 by the owner of the hairdressing salon in which she worked in Pakistan.

Nayab Gill, 13, is a Christian from Pakistan. On May 20, she was kidnapped, converted to Islam and forcibly married off to the owner of the hairdressing salon where she worked, Saddam Hayat.

The girl's father, Shahid, tells the story of the origin of this tragedy.

“Hayat told me that rather than wasting time, Nayab should learn salon skills to help him support the family financially. He even offered to pick her up from home and drop her off after work, assuring us that she was like his daughter. "

On May 20, the day Nayab disappeared, Shahid visited the owner of the barber shop, but the family claimed that they were not at home. The girl's father tells Morning Star News that Saddam even offered to seek Nayab with them. He even accompanied them to the police station to make a statement, but asked them not to mention that Nayab worked in his living room.

“My wife trusted him without knowing it,” he laments, “and did what he told her to write in the request”.

On May 26, Nayab's family learns that the little girl is in a women's shelter, that she claims to be of legal age, to have freely converted to Islam and that her life is endangered by her Christian family. That same day, however, the little girl told her grandmother of her desire to return home.

The next day, a hearing takes place. The young Nayab reaffirms that she is 19 years old and that she has freely converted to Islam. The parents try to oppose these statements, without the support of their lawyer, who did not come, as the father of the girl recounts.

“Our lawyer did not show up for the hearing, so my wife and I contacted the judge directly and presented him with all the official documents proving that my daughter was born on October 16, 2007, which makes her 13 years old and seven months. We told the judge that she was lying about her age under duress. She had bruises on her face and her eyes were also red, which should have caught the judge's attention, but he ignored her. "

The judge's verdict then fell. Nayab is allowed to go back to live with Saddam Hayat. When the verdict was announced, the family collapsed.

“The judge accepted Nayab's request to be allowed to leave Darul Aman [women's shelter, editor's note] with Hayat's family, and we couldn't do anything to stop him. My mother collapsed in the courtroom as soon as the judge gave her order, and while we were dealing with her, the police quietly took Nayab away. "

Bishop Azad Marshall, who spoke to Morning Star News, laments that “at first glance the judge also refused to accept the child's official birth certificate and did not even bother to 'order her medical tests to determine her age despite her parents' pleas. He says he is "hopeful that Nayab's case will once again draw the attention of the higher judiciary and government to this crucial issue, and a mechanism will be developed to stop such atrocities against minority girls under the guise of religion."


Image credit: Morning Star News 

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