More and more young Christian women are becoming the target of radical Islamist groups. In Pakistan, a Christian teenager, Masheel Rasheed, 16, was a victim of sexual violence and later forced to convert to Islam in order to marry her kidnapper.
This Christian is the youngest in a family that has been experiencing persecution by Islamic groups for years. In October 2021, local vandals vandalized her home and stole some of her belongings. The family filed a complaint with the police, which led to the conviction of those responsible.
Later in October 2022, Masheel was kidnapped. The girl was preparing to go to school when the attackers broke into her house and brutally attacked her father until he was unconscious. During her time in captivity, Masheel was drugged and suffered physical and sexual abuse, evidenced by torture marks on her arms. In the legal process to obtain a marriage certificate, she was coerced into committing perjury under threats from her kidnappers, who promised to kill her family if she did not cooperate.
Despite her father’s attempts to seek justice through the police, the security forces did nothing. It was Masheel who managed to escape from her and return to her family. Initially, she had attempted to escape from her at the beginning of the kidnapping of her, but she was quickly recaptured. Only after the death of Abdul Sattar’s brother, the man who raped her and whom she eventually married, was Masheel able to return to Okara and reunite with her father.
Her desperate father found a lack of interest and complicity within the police in his search for justice. For ten days now, he and his daughter have had to leave Okara for fear of their lives. Masheel is traumatized and cannot speak. She is afraid to return home because the kidnappers insist that she must reunite with her husband, whose family has great influence in the city.