Legal Battle: Minor Girl Laiba Maish’s Forced Conversion To Islam And Marriage

Farrukh Saif

March 20, 2024

minor girl case:Laiba Masih

On March 8, 2024, we reported about the incident involving a minor girl forcibly converted to Islam, which occurred in Hari Singh, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan. As previously mentioned, Sohail Masih reported to the police station on February 11, 2024, that his 10-year-old daughter had been abducted, converted to Islam, and married off to a man. Despite the FIR, the police did not arrest the abductor.

The family of the abducted girl requested assistance from our team in Faisalabad to help rescue their 10-year-old daughter, Laiba Masih. Our team was provided with Laiba’s birth certificate, which indicated her age as ten years and two months old.

Initially, our team tried to gather information from the police, but they were unwilling to share any information or provide assistance.

Furthermore, our team discovered a document dated February 15th, containing Laiba’s statement. In this statement, taken at the Magistrate’s office, Laiba asserted that she was an adult who had willingly embraced Islam and sought shelter.

Surprisingly, when she applied for protection at the Magistrate’s office, a certificate of conversion issued by Jamia Darul Hafaz on February 7, 2024, was also submitted.

Following this, the magistrate ordered that the girl be sent to a shelter home. However, Shaukat Shah took the girl and later submitted all these documents, including a marriage certificate, to the police station. Subsequently, the police discharged the FIR registered by Sohail Maish, Laiba’s father.

The marriage certificate submitted by Shoukat Shah at the police station indicated that Irfan Masih, now Muhammad Irfan after converting to Islam, had married Laiba.

Upon discovering that Laiba was not in the shelter home but in Shoukat Shah’s house, our team pressured the police to take action and sent the girl to the shelter home pending the finalization of the case. On Friday, the police moved Laiba to the shelter home.

On Tuesday, March 19th, 2024, a Police House Officer was summoned to appear before the Lahore High Court as Irfan filed a petition for custody of his wife. Our lawyers, along with Laiba’s father, also went to court to request to be party to the case.

Meanwhile, the High Court dismissed Irfan’s application and redirected the magistrate to investigate the matter. The ECSPE legal team is applying for a medical determination of the girl’s age and seeking to declare the so-called marriage null and void.

According to the legal documentation of the National Database and Registration Authority (NDRA) Pakistan, Laiba is ten years and two months old, while Irfan is 35. However, Laiba claimed to be 17 years old. Yesterday, during our first meeting with Laiba Masih, we recorded her statement in which she insisted on living with her so-called husband.

Based on our assessment, the girl is not ten years old, but she may be in her teens. However, she is still considered a minor.

We request you to keep Sohail Masih, Nargis Bibi, and our brave team in your prayers.

Donate ECSPE

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts