A U.K. National Health Service doctor was imprisoned, drugged, bound and gagged before being forced into marriage in Bangladesh, it emerged Friday, as a British judge issued an order telling her parents not “to pester, harass or intimidate” her.
Dr. Humayra Abedin, 32, was held captive for four-and-a-half months by her family and was forced to marry while under the influence of drugs. She was freed by a court in Bangladesh and returned to Britain on Tuesday.
In the High Court in London this morning, Justice Coleridge issued injunctions against Abedin’s parents, a paternal uncle and the man she was forced to marry.
He declared that it was “vitally important for the message to be understood in those communities where this kind of behavior is sanctioned” that the courts will act “swiftly and decisively” in cases were there had been such a “gross abuse of an individual’s human rights."
Outside court Abedin said: “I’m very happy to be back, but I’d like to get back to my life. I’m looking forward to starting my job.”
She said she was grateful to the support she had received from the media and told others in her position: “Don’t give up hope. There is hope.”
Abedin came to Britain in 2002 to get a masters in public health at Leeds University. A year later she moved to London to train as a doctor at Whipps Cross hospital.
In court, Abedin’s lawyer, Hassan Khan, read from a statement describing how she flew to Bangladesh in August, believing that her mother was very ill.
On arriving at the family home “she was manhandled into the property by a number of people and immediately locked into a room,” the statement read. “She was always monitored by four or five guards and she was not free to leave the property. Her passport, tickets and other documents were taken from her.”