The parents of a 14-year-old Christian, Huma Younas, have asked Pope Francis and civil authorities for help after their daughter was kidnapped and forced to marry one of the kidnappers.
“The interest of the international community is crucial,” says a lawyer who is following the case.
Huma Younas’ parents are pursuing every avenue that could help them secure the release of their daughter, even appealing to “the Holy Father Francis”. Their 14-year-old daughter was kidnapped two months ago in Pakistan, and now they are launching a video calling for help to media outlets throughout the world.
Their anxiety has continued to increase day by day after Huma was forcibly converted to Islam and given in “marriage” to one of the kidnappers. Seeing the impact of international pressure in the case of Asia Bibi, they hope that raising awareness might help in their case as well.
Huma is just 14 years old and is likely to have fallen victim to the lucrative practice of trafficking in human beings, particularly women, by Chinese and Pakistani criminals.
The case of Huma is being followed by lawyer Tabassum Yousaf on behalf of the archdiocese of Karachi. Yousaf reports that five appeals made to the courts in Karachi have had no effect. Adding insult to injury, the kidnappers themselves have now appealed to the High Court, asking the justices to free the girl from her parents’ authority, claiming that she is of age. But Huma was born in 2005 and is simply a teenager who wants to experience life like her peers.
In the video in which Huma’s parents ask for Pope Francis’ solidarity, they also address the international community as a whole, as well as the authorities in their own country, from the head of the government to the chief of the armed forces. In particular, they appeal to politician Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son and heir of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.