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Saima Masih a fifteen year old Christian girl becomes latest victim of forced Islamic marriage.


A fifteen year old Christian girl Saima Masih became the latest victim of abduction, rape and forced Islamic marriage in Pakistan, when she was kidnapped on 3rd January 2015.  

Saima and her family were worshipping at their local church in Kasur, on Sunday 3rd January.  During the service Saima felt thirsty so she went out to drink some water.  To the dismay of her family she never returned as she had been kidnapped by a local Muslim man by the name of Munir, who took her to his home town of Harrapa 184km away.  Here he forced her to marry her despite her age being below the legal age of consent which is 16.  Munir owned the local fields were the family of Saima and other local people were hired as labourers and was spotted taking Saima with him. 

Child marriage in Pakistan is legally prohibited to an extent under the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 (No XIX). Under the Act, the minimum age for marriage is 18 years for a male and 16 years for a female (section 2). Contravention is punishable with a fine of Rs.1000 and an imprisonment of one month or both for:

  • An adult male (above 18 years of age) who contracts marriage with a child (section 4).
  • A person who solemnizes a child marriage (section 5).
  • A parent or guardian who does not act to prevent a child marriage (section 6).

Arshad Maish (48 years) the father of Saima is heartbroken by the loss of his daughter. His severe disability has left him wheelchair bound and he is relying on his eldest son Riaz Masih (22 years) to challenge local police for Saima's return.  Munir told BPCA Officer Naveed Aziz  that he  has been shocked by the kidnap of his sister and wants her returned to their family. He said:

"Saima is only 15 it is illegal for anyone to marry her.  We have her birth certificate and can prove her age yet local police are doing little to free my sister who must be terrified of her situation." 

Local police begrudgingly filed a First Incident report against Munir but so far little has been done to apprehend the abductor and return Saima to her family. 

Mother of Saima, Jameela (45 years) has been torn by the loss of her daughter.  She has been inconsolable and spends most of the day praying for Saima's return.

"Saima is a young child, she is very innocent and now is in the clutches of an evil man.  I pray Gods protection over her every day and know He is with Saima.  I will not stop praying till my Lord brings my daughter back into my arms - He is able to do anything."

Saima was one of nine siblings and all of them are praying for the return of their sister.  The family of Saima have not returned to work and BPCA have provided them with two months food parcels to hold them over while they challenge for the return of their daughter.  We would like to support the cost of their legal fees which would amount to around £400. 

BPCA has launched an appeal for the family of Saima. We really hope to help with the legal costs, help towards rent and other assistance that the victim family will now need as they cope with the loss of their child and ensuing legal battle. 

If you would like to contribute towards our appeal our bank details, paypal/visa payment facility can be found (here)

Please use reference: Love for Saima

BPCA food parcels

Arshad Masih is bedridden as Naveed talks to elder brother of Saima, Rashid (21)

Saima's siblings

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