A Pakistani high court has ruled that any underage girl with an active menstrual cycle is ready for marriage as long as she had seen her first period; this is in accordance to the sharia law.
The Sindh High Court in Karachi passed down the ruling on February 3, 2020, during the hearing on alleged abduction, forced conversion and marriage of Huma Younus, a 14-year-old Catholic girl taken from her home on 10th October 2019.
14-year-old Huma was abducted and forced to marry her abductor, Abdul Jabbar, after being converted to Islam, according to her parents Younis and Nagheena Masih.
Her parents believe her marriage is invalid in line with the “Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act” which forbids marriage under the age of 18.
Huma’s parents produced evidence – including a baptismal certificate and testimony from her school – purporting to show she is 14 years old, born on 22nd May 2005.
During the hearing on Monday, the judges, Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Irshad Ali Shah, ruled that even if Huma was a minor, the marriage between her and her alleged abductor, Abdul Jabbar, would be valid as she had already had her first menstrual cycle.
Judges Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Irshad Ali pronounced their judgment under the Sharia law.
After the judgement, Huma’s mother, Nagheena Younus, told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that Christians are not treated as equal citizens in Pakistan. She said:
“Once again, justice has been defeated and, once again, our state has shown itself unable to treat Christians as Pakistani citizens.”
The girl’s mother has appealed to the international community to support them.
Underage #Catholic girl Huma Younus & other girls can be married as long as they have had their first menstrual cycle, High Court in #Pakistan ruled. This is so wrong and disgusting! I urge the @EU_Commission and the international community to stop all relationship with Pakistan. https://t.co/oQl1INCGY0
— Marijana Petir (@marijana_petir) February 5, 2020