Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

One in 10 forced marriages are in Yorkshire

ONE in ten reports of a suspected forced marriage in the UK come from concerned communities in Yorkshire and the Humber, new statistics show.

As a dangerous window of opportunity approaches for women and men to be taken abroad against their will during half term, the Government is today launching a video with the message that the ‘brutal’ practice will not be tolerated in the region.

Around 120 women and men living across Yorkshire and the Humber received help and support from the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) last year in what were potential cases of someone being married against their will.
Pakistan, India and Bangladesh were the most common countries involved in reports to the FMU, however nearly a quarter of cases were from people concerned about a marriage to someone in the UK.

Today the Foreign Office has launched a hard-hitting video showing forced marriage’s devastating impact on the victim and their family, and the criminal consequences of anyone’s involvement in the process.

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Muslim father strangled daughter, 19, to death in ‘honour killing’ after she was caught stealing condoms for sex with her forbidden boyfriend in Germany

Muslim father strangled daughter, 19, to death in ‘honour killing’ after she was caught stealing condoms for sex with her forbidden boyfriend in Germany. Khan, 51, with tears streaming down his face, admitted the killing because in his eyes she had brought ‘dishonour’ on the family with her love for a boy he didn’t approve of. He and his wife were wed in an arranged marriage and he wanted the same for her.

a COURT HEARLareeb stayed away from the home for several nights in a row and stopped wearing her headscarf. Her family then got a letter from the police saying she had been caught trying to steal condoms

Khan and his wife, originally from Pakistan, are on trial for murder at the State Court in Darmstadt. Shazia, 41, described how she was a downtrodden woman, totally in the thrall of her husband, and unable to save her daughter.

The court heard how the parents sent Lareeb’s sister Nida, 14, to a relative on the evening of the murder in January this year.

Nida gave evidence against both her parents, saying her mother was as strict as their father, often striking both of them.

The mother held out her arms to Nida when she appeared in court on Friday but Nida refused to acknowledge her.

Nida said: ‘My Mama was not suppressed, she could do what she wanted. She used to hit me with a stick.

‘We were never allowed to talk about her boyfriend. My father used to say my sister should be forcibly married in Pakistan.’

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Women call for laws to fight forced marriage in U.S.

Mariam was a sixth-grader in Toronto when her family started pressuring her to get engaged. They sent her on a summer trip to their native Pakistan, ostensibly to study but actually to meet a fiance chosen by her aunt. When she protested after returning home, she said, her mother kept insisting and wearing her down.

Mariam, who left her family when they pressured her to marry a man in Pakistan chosen by her aunt., wrote "Caged," a digital story with autobiographical roots about forced marriage.

Mariam, who left her family when they pressured her to marry a man in Pakistan chosen by her aunt., wrote “Caged,” a digital story with autobiographical roots about forced marriage. Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post

“She cried a lot. She prayed loudly to God that I would change. She refused to speak to me for days. She told me the family’s honor was at stake,” recounted Mariam, now 20, who asked that her last name not be published. “I wanted to finish school and go to college, but at times I almost said yes, just so she would stop crying.”

Finally, when she turned 17, Mariam decided to leave home — an unthinkable act in her culture. With encouragement from a women’s rights group, she slipped out early one morning, taking a small bag. No shelter would accept her, because she had not been physically abused, and she felt wracked with guilt and loneliness. Eventually, though, she found housing, friends and a measure of emotional independence.

Today, Mariam is active in a growing movement in the United States and Canada to promote public awareness and legal protections for victims of forced marriage. She visited Washington last week as part of a nationwide tour organized by the Tahirih Justice Center, a legal aid and advocacy group in the Virginia suburbs that helps immigrant women facing abuse.

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How do we keep girls safe?

I am hurrying through a maze of streets in a city in Pakistan with two officials from the British High Commission in Islamabad. It’s a race against time to rescue a British girl who fears she is being forced into marriage against her will. Sana, a 19-year-old from the Midlands, was brought here by her parents, lured with the promise that she could go to university. Instead, she was physically abused when she refused to marry a man she had never met.

Sana cannot leave the house and is afraid to speak on her mobile, but she can text. Smartphone technology enables British Consul Simon Minshull and his local colleague Neelam Farooq to pinpoint the house. Taken unawares, Sana’s parents let the officials in, and Farooq immediately insists on seeing her alone, telling her father they are concerned for her welfare. Once alone, Sana tells Farooq she is desperate to leave. “She has asked for assistance and we cannot refuse that,” Farooq firmly tells her father.

Halo_Project_image Sana

Sana after being rescued from Pakistan

Now Minshull demands the girl’s British passport. While her father stalls, Farooq hustles Sana out. The family have made a phone call and more relatives are on their way. Things could turn nasty. Within minutes, Sana is in our armoured convoy and we are speeding away. A slight figure with a quiet but determined manner, she confides that she was terrified the officials would not come, or that her father would not let her go.

“The abuse was very bad,” she says, admitting she had considered suicide rather than go through a forced marriage: “I thought the easiest way out was death, hard as that is… either that or get the embassy to help.”

The dramatic rescue in Pakistan was the culmination of work by a special government team – the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) in the Foreign Office. It deals with around 1,400 cases a year but believes there may be more than 6,000. The unit has cases in 74 countries, but 42 per cent involve Pakistan, due to the large diaspora community in the UK. Last summer, forced marriage was made a criminal offence in Britain – a signal from the Government that the practice, which can lead to abuse, rape and murder, will no longer be tolerated. “Forced marriage is a government priority,” says Minshull, “and our commitment is that we will use the option of rescuing someone where we need to.”



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No freewill 708 children fell prey to forced marriages in 2013

KARACHI: At least 708 boys and girls fell prey to forced and early marriages in Pakistan in the year 2013, which included 264 such cases in Punjab, 199 in Sindh, 143 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 102 cases in Balochistan, said the founder of Madadgaar Helpline, Zia Ahmed Awan at a roundtable conference titled, ‘Addressing Gender Base Violence: Focusing on early and forced marriages in Pakistan’, at Madadgaar Helpline office on Friday.

Awan said that 684 cases of forced and early marriages were reported in 2012. Around 276 forced marriage cases were reported in 2012, which increased up to 284 in the year 2013. He said these were the cases reported in media but the exact figures would be far more than this. Awan highlighted national and international laws that forbid parents and couples to get married before they attain the age of 18 years. Pakistan is signatory to the international charters that forbid it.


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Forced marriage fear of Preston girl flown to Pakistan

A teenage girl missing since she flew to Pakistan with her younger sisters may have been forced to marry, a High Court judge has heard.

Alyssa Din, 16, and her sisters Safia, five, and Amani, four – all from Preston – have been missing since flying to Karachi via Islamabad in October.

Their parents Ilyas and Mazeley Din were jailed over their disappearance.

Mr Justice Hayden said he was extremely concerned about Alyssa’s welfare.

‘Brainwashed the children’

Mr and Mrs Din were jailed in December for contempt of court for failing to provide details of their children’s whereabouts.

Mr Din, who is in his late 40s, was given a 12-month term and Mrs Din, who is in her 30s, a six-month sentence.


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