Refusing Silence: Ezra’s Struggle for Freedom

Farrukh Saif

January 17, 2024

Rescue The Persecuted - ECSPE

Ezra and her daughters, Roma, Noreen, and Sania, became victims of modern-day slavery when the kiln owner forcibly married 16-year-old Roma. In a disturbing incident, Ezra’s husband, Rasheed Masih, had converted to Islam to escape his financial troubles and willingly consented to his daughter’s marriage to the kiln owner.

Our pastor alerted us upon learning of their dire situation, prompting immediate action. Collaborating with the police and local law enforcement authorities, we successfully rescued this family from the confines of the kiln house where they were held against their will.

After we rescued the family, Ezra and her daughters were falsely accused of stealing 16 kg of gold by their so-called husband. Unfortunately, Ezra’s husband became a witness against his wives and daughters. Initially, they faced threats and pressure from Rasheed Masih (husband) and Kiln Owner Mohammad, but now the police are also involved. The police conducted raids in various locations, including the relatives’ houses and the pastor’s residence, engaged in their rescue mission.

After seeing all the possibilities, we found the only viable option was to relocate the family to South Asia under the protection of the UNHCR. This move was essential to ensure their safety and shield them from further harm.

God worked through our organization to save the lives of Ezra and her daughters. Currently residing under the protection of UNHCR in South Asia, the family’s journey is a testament to the pervasive issue of modern-day slavery, highlighting the urgent need for advocacy and intervention in such cases. Their story, once granted refugee status, will shed light on the grim realities faced by individuals trapped in the vicious cycle of exploitation, forced marriages, and modern-day slavery.

The forced marriage and enslavement were not only a grave violation of human rights but also indicative of the broader issue of modern-day slavery in Pakistan. Kilns often exploit vulnerable families, subjecting them to abhorrent working conditions and forcing them into situations like Roma’s forced marriage.

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a fearless Christian Human Rights activist, founded the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to combat religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His focus on liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns has earned him international recognition. Despite facing threats and fatwas, his impactful work continues to support marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, amplifying its global reach.

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