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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 09/10/2008
PAKISTAN
Christian girl, kidnapped and converted by Muslims, returned to family
by Qaiser Felix
The alleged conversion has been found to be invalid, because the girl is just 10 years old. But her sister, who was also kidnapped, has been judged to have married by her own will, because she is "more than 16 years old", although her relatives say she is only 13, and that they will appeal to the supreme court.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - The Multan bench of the Lahore high court ruled yesterday that Saba Younas, the Christian girl kidnapped together with her sister Aneela on June 26 by a group of Muslims, and forced to become a Muslim and to get married, is an adult, because she is over the age of 16. So her conversion and marriage to one of the kidnappers have been found to be "voluntary", and the request that she be returned to her Christian family has been denied.

But judge Malak Saeed Eiaz has instead given Aneela back to her family, because she is only 10 years old.

"We are at least happy over Aneela", her uncle Khalid Raheel comments to AsiaNews. "And for Saba’s custody, we will appeal to the supreme court". Aneela has now been taken to a secret location, because the Muslims who kidnapped her insist that she converted "spontaneously", and that there is a risk that her family will look for her.

"The girl told me", her uncle continues, "that in order to convince her, some of the Muslims threatened her with death, in addition to promising her expensive presents".

The two girls were kidnapped from the village of Chowk Munda, in the province of Punjab, while they were visiting their uncle. Afterward, the kidnappers stated that they had converted, and that the older one had married "of her own will".

On July 14, the Christian parents asked the Muzaffargarh Sessions Court for custody of their daughters, but the tribunal responded that, since they had converted to Islam, they can no longer live with their Christian parents. This verdict was overturned by the high court in Aneela's case, because she is only 10 years old. Her relatives say that Saba is only 13, as shown by official documents, but the court has accepted expert testimony that she is over 16 years old, and therefore capable of marrying "of her own will".


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See also
07/16/2008 PAKISTAN
Kidnapped Christian girls, judge ratifies marriage and conversion
by Qaiser Felix
07/31/2008 PAKISTAN
Kidnapped girls, converted and married by Muslims, entrusted to assistance center
by Qaiser Felix
04/16/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi court confirms validity of marriage for eight-year-old girl
07/14/2008 PAKISTAN
Punjab: underage Christian sisters kidnapped and forced to marry Muslims
by Qaiser Felix
09/02/2008 PAKISTAN
Balochistan, five girls buried alive for honor crimes
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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