Family charged with forcing daughter into marriage

An Østerbro family trapped their daughter for three days so she could be forcibly married off to her cousin in Afghanistan

The Copenhagen Police arrested three members of an Afghan-origin family on the charges of forcing their 19-year-old daughter to marry her cousin in Afghanistan against her will, TV2 news reported. The three members involved in the crime are the woman’s mother, father and brother.

According to tabloid Ekstra Bladet, the girl was forcibly locked up in an Østerbro apartment for three days, from March 1921 by her family.

The case will be the first to apply newly-adopted stricter punishment in the criminal code’s forced marriage laws. Parliament voted to strengthen the wording in 2008 so that the law now reads: “Forcing someone to enter marriage can result in a prison sentence of up to four years.”

The three people were charged under the new provision by  Senior Prosecutor Erik Hjelm in a preliminary hearing on Thursday, TV2 reported.  During the investigation, however, the son reportedly refuted the charges by denying his part in the crime.

The family argued that the teenager had already been married to her cousin, since they had already held an engagement party. Further details have yet to emerge from the case.