UK-Bangladeshi doc forced to marry was drugged, seeks annulment

December 20th, 2008 - 12:23 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 20 (ANI): Lawyers of Hamayra Abedin, a doctor working with Britains National Health Service (NHS), was forcibly detained by her family members for four months and was given sedatives to keep her docile.

She was also held in a psychiatric ward, where her forced medication continued. Later she was forced to marry a friend of the family in a secretive wedding ceremony presided over by an official government registrar, The Independent quoted her lawyers, as saying.

Dr Abedin, who is seeking to have her marriage annulled through the British courts, made it clear yesterday that she had no intention of bringing any charges against her parents.

Harrowing details of Dr Abedins four-month incarceration at the hands of her parents in Bangladesh came to light on Friday as the 32-year-old NHS doctor successfully obtained a series of injunctions in the High Court that forbid anyone taking her out of Britain against her will.

According to her lawyers statement, Dr Abedin visited her family on August 5 after being falsely informed that her mother was ill. On arrival in Dhaka she was manhandled into the family home by a number of people and immediately locked in a room.

Four to five family members guarded her at any one time and her passport and plane tickets were taken away. Five days later a cousin allegedly forced her to take two tablets, which made her feel very drowsy, the statement said.

Representatives of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a respected Bangladeshi human rights group, tried to visit Dr Abedin On August 13. They had been alerted by desperate text messages she had managed to send to friends in Britain. But as punishment for alerting the authorities, her family took away her mobile phone and locked her in a hospital for the mentally ill, she said.

If Dr Abedins statement is correct, there is growing evidence to suggest that local police authorities and a number of doctors may have colluded with her parents. Hours after ASKs visit, people claiming to be police inspectors came and said they needed to speak to her.

Following [Dr Abedins] refusal to go with them her hands were tied behind her back and her head was covered with a cloth. She was screaming for assistance. She was placed in an ambulance and gagged so forcefully that at one point she believed she would suffocate, the statement read.

According to the testimony, Dr Abedin was taken to the High Tech Modern Psychiatric Hospital in Dhaka, where she was regularly injected with drugs.

On November5, Dr Abedin was moved to Jessore, 87 miles west of Dhaka. She was later forced to marry Dr Khondokar Mohammad Abdul Jalal, a friend of the family whose marriage request she had earlier refused.

Only when a Bangladeshi court ordered her release on December 14 was she allowed to return to Britain. (ANI)

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