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Forced Marriage in Pakistan foiled by British and Pakistani Courts

16 December, 2008

I found two different sources for a story today about a 33 year old doctor Humayra Abedin.  Abedin was scheduled to begin working for the National Health Service in London last August, when she received word that her mother was ill in Bangladesh.  Like a dutiful daughter, she returned home only to discover that the illness was a ruse and that her parents had arranged a marriage for Abedin.  She has been kept prisoner by her parents since then.  

Abedin’s ordeal ended yesterday when she was released by the High Court in Pakistan and allowed to return to the U.K.  Britain had recently passed a Forced Marriage Act which, although not enforceable in Bangladesh, influenced the court there.

Abedin’s father apparently fainted when he heard the court’s decision.   Poor man!  He thought his daughter was his to do with as he pleased and it pleased him to give her away to another man.  


Forced marriage is a form of  slavery.   It ought to be internationally banned, but kudos to Britain for stepping up and taking the first step.



Each story has videos and a photo and more details than I have mentioned here.  Each is worth your time.

Captive doctor to return to UK              read the BBC story here:

An NHS doctor who was freed following claims that she was being held captive in Bangladesh by her parents is due to fly into the UK later.


Kidnapped doctor freed from parents in Bangladesh       read the CNN story here:

(CNN) — A British-based doctor has been freed by the courts in Bangladesh after being held captive by her family and put under pressure to marry against her will, media reports said Monday.

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