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British Pakistani woman reveals shocking story of 'forced wedding at age of 5'

London, Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 8 (ANI): Another shocking incident of forced marriage in Britain has emerged with a woman of Pakistani-origin claiming to have been forced into marriage against her knowledge and will at the age of five.

Samina, not her real name, told The Sun that how she was denied the right of childhood, play and innocence, and was forced to marry at such a young age.

"There was a lot of activity, a lot of relatives in the house. I was dressed up in an outfit mother-in-law had bought for me. My sister told me later that my mother-in-law had said, 'At last, the beautiful girl belongs to me!," she said recalling her childhood wedding day.

Samina decided to speak out after Britain's Forced Marriage Unit revealed that last year the 1,468 cases they investigated included another girl of five.

"When you are married at the age of five you no longer live like a normal child. I was deprived of my basic human rights," she said.

"I'm genuinely shocked and horrified to hear that another little girl has had to go through this. My heart goes out to that child and anyone who is forced to marry," she added.

Samina's marriage was eventually consummated against her will after she suffered a horrific beating.

Samina, who is now in her early 40s, stressed that forced marriage is contrary to the teachings of Islam and must be therefore outlawed.

"There is no Islamic justification for forced marriage and doing it to a child of that age is not just wrong - it is criminal," the report quoted her, as saying.

Last year Britain's Forced Marriage Unit handled thousands of cases of forced marriage involving victims ranging in age from five to 87.

One in ten cases involved children under 15 and almost half were between 16 and 21.

Over 65 per cent of cases involved people of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. (ANI)

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