TWO Bangladeshi-born sisters are under protection in Barcelona after complaining of being forced into arranged marriages.

Catalunya’s General Directorate of Attention to Children and Adolescents (DGAIA) has removed guardianship rights from their parents.

One of the girls went to the Raval district police station in Barcelona on Thursday.

She told officers that she had lived in the area for a few years with her 15-year-old sister.

They have three younger brothers, who were all born in Spain.

Police heard her family had arranged a marriage with a man in Bangladesh who she had never met.

She added the parents planned to move to Bangladesh with the whole family, despite her refusal to go through with the wedding.

The teenager said that threats had been made against her if she did not proceed with the union.

She and her younger sister both asked for protection and received it.

The older girl is staying in a secure flat organised by the DGAIA.

Police in Catalunya have protocols to prevent forced marriages which are classified as a crime.

There are also special victim assistance groups run by police with most of those needing help aged under 18 years.

Last week, two sisters living in Terassa in Barcelona Province were killed in Pakistan after showing displeasure over their arranged marriages.

Aneesa Abbas, 20, and Arooj Abbas, 24, had been married to distant cousins in Pakistan.

On a visit to Pakistan, their family ordered them to take their husbands with them back to Terassa.

They refused and asked for divorces which led to their relatives torturing and murdering them in so-called ‘honour killings’.


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