Sheeza Maqsood, 16, was converted to Islam at gun point; under threat of death to her family, she had to marry one of the kidnappers, who raped her for a month and a half. NGOs appeal to the government and the police for greater resources to help and defend minorities.
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - Sheeza Maqsood, 16, a Christian girl from Bismillahpur (Faisalabad), managed to escape and return home: she was kidnapped at the end of September and forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim, who continued to take advantage of her until the day of her escape. The girl lives with her family, who have received death threats from the kidnapper’s family.
Sheeza was kidnapped on the evening of September 28th. Her father Maqsood Masih was at work, as were her two brothers. There was only the mother, Gulzar Bibi, and 12-year-old sister Kinza, at home preparing to go to sleep.
Sheeza's mother relates: “It was around 10 pm when a certain Tallah Haider, together with his friends, entered the house with a gun in his hand. They threatened to kill us if we screamed and they forcibly dragged Sheeza with them. We started crying and to make us stop they beat us. As they took our Sheeza away we started screaming. Khalida Irfan and Nazir Masih, our relatives who live near us, heard the screams and arrived, but in the meantime the kidnappers fled with Sheeza on their motorcycles”.
The girl says that three men kidnapped her were: Tallah, Salman and Nomi. After loading her on the motorcycle, they travelled for about an hour and a half and took her to an empty and perhaps abandoned house, where all three raped her. "I was crying and screaming for help, but there was no one to save me," Sheeza says through tears.
"After three days - she says - they took me to a mosque and at gunpoint, they forced me to convert to Islam. Soon after they took me to the [Islamic] court, where a Molana [Quranic doctor] and a lawyer were waiting for us. They asked me to put my fingerprint on documents, which stated that I was marrying Tallah voluntarily. If I didn't accept, they would have killed my father and my brothers. Rubina Bibi, Halima Bibi and Tallah's mother were also present at the court. When I refused, they all started beating me and forcing me to put my fingerprint on the documents. The fear of their blows and the fear for the fate of my father and my brothers forced me to accept”.
Sheeza says that after the forced ceremony, they took her to the village of Roshanwala, where she lived as a recluse, being raped continuously for a month and a half. She often tried to escape, but was always caught.
One day at the beginning of November, Tallah forgot his cell phone in his room. Sheeza then immediately called her brother Rehmat Naseer, and explained where she was. He arrived immediately and called her. As soon as Sheeza heard his voice, she climbed over the wall and managed to escape with her brother.
Back home, she and her family demand justice. Social media are reporting their case and are also demanding that the police apply the law.
In the video we show, Sheeza asks the Faisalabad police office for her family to be protected, as they are receiving constant death threats from the kidnappers.
Baba Intizar Gill, president of "Minority security, Pakistan", asks the minister of justice and the chief of the army that minorities and their daughters are truly protected. And he asks the Christians of Pakistan to pray and support Sheeza's family, which is receiving threats and in need of help.
Baba Intizar Gill hopes that Sohail Ahmad Chaudhry, the police chief of Faisalabad will see that justice is done.