A Christian girl has been vindicated in Pakistan, and her Christian family will no longer be forced to leave their home. It’s a significant victory.
Our international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), has received confirmation from its affiliate in Pakistan, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), that a settlement has been reached after the OLA pressed criminal charges against a Muslim family for stripping and brutalizing eight-year-old Parwasha, a Christian girl. Thanks to our attorneys on the ground in Pakistan filing a petition with the local court, the Christian family has finally received justice.
As we detailed previously:
It happens far too often in Pakistan – a Muslim family had a vendetta against a Christian family because of their faith. So, in this case, they attacked an 8-year-old Christian girl after abducting her, hitting her, stripping off all of her clothes and leaving her on the street.
After town authorities refused to prosecute her attackers and arrested Parwasha’s family based on a complaint by the Muslim family, our office in Pakistan immediately acted. Our attorneys on the ground prepared a legal petition to the Pakistani court to prosecute Parwasha’s attackers.
On December 21st, our attorneys went to court, seeking an order to press charges against the Muslim family. After hearing the arguments, the judge ordered the police to register the criminal case against Parwasha’s attackers. Thanks to this order, the Muslim family reached out to negotiate a settlement.
The Christian family, understanding that the recent ruling placed them on equal footing, agreed to engage in negotiations. The settlement concluded that both parties would drop all charges against the other family. The agreement also nullifies the previously coerced contract that forced the Christian family to leave their ancestral home because Parwasha’s uncle had supposedly dishonored the Muslim family by having a romantic relationship with their daughter.
In Pakistan, families pass their homes from generation to generation because the families that settle rarely, if ever, move. In our client’s case, they were held in detention by the local police under assault charges filed by the Muslim family until the they received what the Muslim family wanted from Parwasha’s family, their land.
This is a major victory for religious freedom in Pakistan. While the shame and memories of what happened may for a long time haunt Parwasha, our case has brought as much justice as can be expected in a society where the playing field between Muslims and non-Muslims is far from equal.
Today’s victory is one of many, but it will not be the last. We will continue to pursue our mission by fighting for religious liberty throughout Pakistan. We thank you for your prayers and for the more than 125,000 of you who signed our petition for Parwasha.
Because you spoke out, this little Christian girl and her family were saved from being unjustly imprisoned and forced to give up their home. Your voice is truly making a difference. Please continue to pray for our staff in Pakistan and in other parts of the globe.
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