Farida's parents (*) could not stand her having a Swedish boyfriend. Her father deceived her into going to Pakistan in order to marry her off to another man. In a call for help to her boyfriend Farida wrote that she feels as though she's in a prison.
Love almost cost Farida her life and she could have ended up with an honor murder.
Farida, who lived in Borås (Sweden), started hanging out with friends when she was eleven, which wasn't appreciated by her father. Later in a police interrogation Farida said that her father was afraid his family would get a bad reputation. Her father often hit her with a leather belt if she came home too late. Her mother verbally abused her, saying things like: hope you die before you come home from school, before you destroy my reputation and calling her a whore's child.
Things got worse when Farida got herself a boyfriend who was born in Sweden - Erik. Her parents were mad at her. Her father is suspected of hitting her with a dustpan. She was most often hit by her father, but in once case her mother pushed her head into a railing. Farida says that afterward her father regretted it and bought her presents. While her father hit her, her mother practiced psychological terror against her. Finally her parents demanded that Erik convert to Islam. Erik did so, but that helped very little.
Just before school graduation in 2006, Farida's father got her to travel with him to Pakistan under the pretext of visiting her grandfather, who was ill.
Fadima says that after a week in Pakistan she asked her father about going back. At first he avoided the question, but then came the shock: he thought of leaving without his daughter. You must become one of us. You are like a Swede now and we will not lose a daughter.
Farida promised to learn about Islam and was promised she could go with him. She says she dressed like the women there and did everything she could to get her father to accept her. She told him she regretted her former life and that she's been brainwashed. She promised to leave Erik.
Her father promised they could leave, but first they'll stay in Afghanistan. There they met family who belonged to the upper classes and Fadima got to use a computer and sent an email to Erik and a classmate saying she couldn't contact them but that she was now in Afghanistan in Kandahar, 'Taliban-city'. Her father had totally deceived her, she feels she's in jail, and her father had threatened her that if she won't finish with Erik, she won't come home.
Erik then contacted the Foreign ministry in Sweden.
Farida's father, meanwhile, made further demands. He wanted to marry her off. He told her there was a man who was interested in her. On July 28th, 2006, Farida was forced to marry in front of 400 wedding guests.
She acted as though she was in love, and later got permission to go back to Borås and finish school. Once back in Sweden, she contacted the school welfare officer.
Farida and Erik are forced to live with secret identities and forced to feel the parents. Farida lived in a secret residence and sued her parents. Before the trial Farida told GT that everything had been exaggerated and that she wants it to be over. She is trying to sue her parents, but she doesn't want them convicted.
During the trial Farida said she lied in the two police interrogations, held a year apart. She refused to answer questions about her email or about having a Swedish non-Muslim boyfriend. She said she made up everything just to have freedom, but that she had a good childhood.
The court believed what she told the police and convicted her parents for gross disturbance of the peace, sentencing them to probation and to community service. The court did not believe her parents, who said she had suddenly fallen in love with a relative in Afghanistan.
The court wrote that her statements in court was clearly colored by an attempt to enable continued contact with her parents.
(*) The names in this story were made up.
Source: Expressen 1, 2 (Swedish)
See also: Sweden: Call to ban arranged marriages, Sweden: fight the honor culture, Sweden: Law proposal against child marriages, Sweden: Increase in secret identities, Book Review: Breeding Betrayal (2)