Doctor facing "forced marriage" returning to UK

LONDON (Reuters) - A doctor who was allegedly held captive by her family in Bangladesh was due to return to Britain on Monday after being freed by the courts there.

Lawyers for 33-year-old Humayra Abedin, from east London, had said the trainee family doctor’s family had planned to force her into marriage, the Press Association reported.

Her lawyer Anne-Marie Hutchinson said Abedin had boarded a flight from Dhaka on Sunday night.

“She’s fine, but obviously exhausted and was anxious to leave before people changed their mind,” Hutchinson said.

Abedin had come to Britain six years ago to study and was due to start work at a surgery in east London before she returned to Bangladesh after hearing her mother had fallen ill.

The High Court in London issued an order last week under a new Forced Marriage Act which allows British courts to prevent forced marriages.

The High Court in Bangladesh then ruled she should be freed.

“She requested the court not to put her parents in trouble because of what they did to her,” said judge Syed Mahmud Hossain. “But I am saying what you (the parents) have done to her is not acceptable. If there’s any further problem you will be in big trouble.”

Hutchinson told the BBC there was significant under-reporting of cases of forced marriage, saying there were as many as 350 similar cases involving British women.

Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Kate Kelland