UK-based Bangladeshi doc says she was forced to marry

December 18th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 18 (ANI): Hamayra Abedin, a doctor working with Britains National Health Service (NHS), who was held captive by her parents in Bangladesh, has said that she was forced to marry a stranger against her will.

Abedin was held captive by her parents who disapproved of her Hindu boyfriend and was forced to marry against her will during her four months in captivity enlarge, The Independent reported

The 33-year-old doctor, who flew back to Britain this week after a court in Dhaka ordered her release, said her parents had picked out a man and made her marry him at a Muslim wedding in November.

Her parents live in the Bangladeshi capital but the ceremony was held in another province.

Earlier, parents of Dr. Humayra Abedin, a 33-year-old trainee GP, were ordered by a judge in Bangladesh to return her passport, drivers license and credit card after they finally answered a summons to present her to the court.

According to The Independent, Dr. Abedins lawyers said the case has set a precedent in Bangladesh and it is also one of the first cases where legal action was taken in the UK since the Forced Marriages Act became law last month.

Dr Abedin, who came to Britain six years ago to study for a Masters degree in public health at Leeds University, was due to become a registrar at a GP surgery in East London.

She travelled to Bangladesh after being told her mother was seriously ill. No one in the UK had heard from her for about three months, until she managed to secretly contact friends in the past few days.

In a text message sent to one friend, she said: “Please help me. My life is in danger. They have locked me in the house. My job is at stake. They are making my life hell,” referring to her parents.

But on Sunday, that hell appeared to be at an end after her parents appeared for a court hearing in Dhaka to face contempt charges for ignoring earlier summons.

Ordering her family to allow her to travel freely, Judge Syed Mahmud Hossain said: “It perplexes me as to why the parents kept her confined and interfered with her personal life.”

He said he would not reveal Dr Abedins testimony, which was held in private, as it contained what he described as “objectional elements”.

The judge also confirmed no action would be taken against her parents, partly in respect of their daughters wishes. (ANI)

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