MAZAIKEWALE (Pakistan) :
SOLD by her family as a bride to a Chinese man, Samiya David spent only two months in China. When she returned to Pakistan, the once robust woman was nearly unrecognisable: malnourished, too weak to walk, her speech confused and disjointed. “Don’t ask me about what happened to me there” was her only reply to her family’s questions, her cousin Pervaiz Masih said. Within just a few weeks, she was dead. David’s mysterious death adds to a growing body of evidence of mistreatment and abuses against Pakistani women and girls, mainly Christians, who have been trafficked to China as brides.
AP investigations have found that traffickers have increasingly targeted Pakistan’s impoverished Christian population over the past two years, paying desperate families to give their daughters and sisters, some of them teenagers, into marriage with Chinese men. Once in China, the women are often isolated, neglected, abused and sold into prostitution, frequently contacting home to plead to be brought back. Some women have told’ The Associated Press’ and activists that their husbands at times refused to feed them.
A list attained by the AP documented 629 Pakistani girls and women sold to China as brides in 2018 and up to early 2019. The list was compiled by Pakistani investigators working to break up the trafficking networks. But officials close to the investigation and activists working to rescue the women say that Government officials, fearful of hurting Pakistan’s lucrative ties to Beijing, have stifled the investigations.
“These poor people have given their daughters for money, and (in China) they do whatever they want to do with them. No one is there to see what happens to the girls,” said Samiya’s cousin, Masih. “This is the height of cruelty. We are poor people.” David’s death, at the age of 37, shows the extremes of the cruelties trafficked women face. Previously, the AP spoke to seven girls who were raped repeatedly when forced into prostitution.