What happened: Nayab Gill the 13 year old daughter of Shahid Masih Gill was the middle child out of three children. Born on October 16, 2007 she was a 9th grade student and worked at a beauty salon. She was converted to Islam by her employer Hussain and his family. This was done secretly and illegally without the consent of her parents and her age was falsely noted as 19 on her conversion certificate. Hussain with the help of his companions eventually kidnapped Gill and on complaining to the police members her father and his family were arrested on false charges. On May 31st the police presented Nayab in the session court of Gujranwala. Judge Qaiser Jamil ruled in the favour of her abductor based on a statement from Gill stating she converted willingly, putting aside all other evidence such as her age. Crying, Gill’s father said: “It is very unfortunate that being a Christian we are not considered an equal citizen of the country and the country’s laws are failing to protect us and even the police and courts side with abductor in these cases”.
The response: The EU has recently started to put increasing pressure on Pakistan and is threatening to renegotiate trade deals until the Islamic republic fixes its human rights record. They have been concerned with how Pakistani leaders turn a blind eye to the rights of minorities in the country. They have been interested in cases like that of Nayab Gill, a 13-year-old girl that was a victim of forceful conversion and child marriage to her abductor. Cases like that of Nayab are becoming increasingly common, the UK government has also recognised the concerns of minorities and is urging the local government to take action.
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