Man claiming to be Muslim first in UK to be jailed for forced marriage

A 34-year-old man was jailed for 16 years on Wednesday following Britain’s first conviction for the largely hidden practice of forced marriage. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted making a 25-year-old devout Muslim woman marry him against her will.

The already-married Welsh businessman, who claimed to follow Islam, systematically raped his victim between March and September last year.

He threatened to go public with hidden camera footage of her in the shower moments after he took her virginity unless she became his wife.

NYC woman who fled marriage testifies against father

June 27, 2014

NEW YORK — The New York City cab driver from Pakistan and his daughter both began weeping the second she first took the witness stand at his murder conspiracy trial. Once composed, she told a jury that they had a loving relationship — and that he had once threatened to kill her.

The encounter came in a case where Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry has pleaded not guilty to charges he arranged the killings last year of two relatives of a man who helped his daughter flee an arranged marriage in Pakistan. Prosecutors at the trial in federal court in Brooklyn have likened the shooting deaths to so-called honor killings — the ruthless vigilantism against Pakistani women accused of disgracing their families.

‘‘I don’t want to hear any more complaints about you,’’ Amina Ajmal, 23, claimed her father warned her when he first learned she wanted out of the marriage. ‘‘I will kill you if you do anything wrong.’’

Though she agreed to testify for the government, Ajmal often sounded and acted on Thursday like she didn’t want to be there. There were long pauses before meekly mumbling answers to prosecutor’s questions about her father’s alleged misdeeds. Yes, she answered, he had threatened her, but she quickly added, ‘‘I don’t think he meant it.’’

The defense claims that Choudhry, who was in Brooklyn at the time of the deaths in Pakistan, had no hand in them. They say government agents coached the daughter on how to manipulate her father into making empty threats that were recorded for use as evidence against him.

Ajmal was born in Pakistan, lost her mother as a child, and was largely raised in Brooklyn by her Muslim father. She testified she was the only one of his five children to take to Western trappings like social media and to go to college. But in 2009, she said, her father tricked her into visiting Pakistan so the family could force her to marry one of her cousins there.

Rotterdam to investigate forced marriages

Rotterdam city council suspects that some girls may have been married against their will over the summer. The suggestion stems from a campaign instituted at the end of the last academic term to help girls avoid arranged marriages.

In May, Telegraaf reported that the new measures would allow girls who are worried they may be married against their will to register their concerns through their school. Prior to the school break, girls were given the option of signing a document stating that they did not want to be married. Should they fail to return to school after the break, the document could be used as a basis for formal investigation.

But just three girls made use of the opportunity to sign the document, and all returned to school after the break. According to Telegraaf, before the holiday, eight suspected cases were on the council’s books and a further seven girls have not returned to school. Rotterdam police and the Public Prosecution Office have begun an investigation.

The Father of Child-Bride Sentenced to One Year in Prison

The father of a 14 year-old girl married in a Muslim religious ceremony in Evry at 14 in 2000 was sentenced to 30 months (with a 12-month prison sentence) for being complicit this underage marriage. On February 11, 2009, the husband of the young girl, then a 21-year old Moroccan who had paid between 300-450 Euros for the girl, was sentenced to two-years in prison. The original accusations were of rape and sequestration, but these were reformulated after long deliberation in court. The female companion of the girl’s father, who purchased the wedding dress and gave the girl birth control pills was also sentenced to 2 months in prison for her participation.