Judge Orders Christian Convert Runaway to Return to Ohio
An Orlando judge has ordered the Florida Department of Children and Families to transfer custody of Ohio teen runaway Fathima Rifqa Bary to Ohio authorities.
Bary, 17, ran away from her Muslim parents to live with a Christian family in Florida because she had converted to Christianity and feared that her Muslim father would harm or kill her because of her religious conversion.
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The Florida Department of Children and Families said they received a court order from Judge Daniel Dawson, of the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orlando, Friday afternoon ordering the agency to relinquish its emergency jurisdiction and arrange for Bary to be transported to the proper authorities with Franklin County Children Services in Ohio.
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"This order indicates that the Court has relinquished its emergency jurisdiction and orders the Department to arrange the transportation of the child to the proper authorities with Franklin County Children Services in Ohio," DCF spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner told the Orlando Sentinel. "The Department will proceed with those arrangements. Please understand that the details of the transfer will not be released, to best ensure her safety."
Calls to Bary's attorney, John Stemberger, were not immediately returned.