Girl, 14, in Pakistan forced to marry, convert

A high court in Pakistan has validated the marriage and forced conversion to Islam of a 14-year-old Christian girl, heightening fears that it will encourage others to commit such crimes, sources said.

Huma Younus was taken from her home on Oct. 10 while her parents were away and was forced to marry the man who abducted her, her attorney said. The family challenged Huma’s marriage and forced conversion under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013, which declares marrying a person under 18 years old an offense punishable by up to three years in prison. Sources said the law is poorly implemented.

The attorney said the hearing before the High Court in Sindh Province on Feb. 3 lasted only five minutes. Another hearing is scheduled for March 4.