07/24/2013, 00.00
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Same-sex marriages in Bangladesh: two girls arrested, threatened with life imprisonment

by Sumon Corraya
Homosexuality and any kind of union between persons of the same sex is illegal in the country. The young people - aged 16 and 21 year - are runaways. Only once found by the police did they confess to being lesbian, and were arrested.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Two girls were arrested in Bangladesh yesterday for marrying each other. Shibronty Roy Puja, a Hindu of 16, and Sanjida Akter, Muslim 21, had run away from the district of Pirojpur - where they both lived - on 14 July to reach Dhaka, the capital. In the country, homosexuality is illegal and punishable with imprisonment for life, as are marriages, civil partnerships and cohabitation between people of the same sex.

Sanjida gave private lessons to Shibronty. After their flight, the father of the younger girl reported his daughter missing. The police found and arrested them in Mahammadpur (Dhaka), where they had rented a house. It is at that point that the two girls confessed the truth to the agents: they were in love and were married, exchanging garlands of flowers, as required by the Hindu tradition.

In Bangladesh, people belonging to the LGBT community (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) range between 1.6 and 4.8 million. They are not recognized and receive no form of social, religious or legal support and are often victims of persecution.


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