Husbands in forced marriages face rape charges

Husbands involved in forced marriages could face prosecution for rape under tough new laws being planned by leading Scottish Asians. As many as 300 young women are believed to be coerced into marriage against their will annually in Scotland, with violence and even murder being the result in a small number of cases. England is introducing new civil laws to ban the practice south of the border, but heads of the Islamic community in Scotland are pushing for new criminal sanctions. As well as prosecuting husbands for rape, relatives involved in forced marriages could find themselves charged with aiding and abetting a crime. Among those leading the campaign is Bashir Ahmad, a Nationalist MSP in Glasgow, who became aware of the extent of forced marriage while a councillor in the city. He said: “If forced marriages were a criminal offence it would be a real deterrent and I will be bringing forward a Private Members Bill on this. Making it a civil offence might be a good first step but it may not go far enough.”http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=BAA9F82DA62E054E56CF740A&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News