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Bosnian girl shaved by her parents because she wanted to marry a man of another faith

Illustrative image – juerginho / Shutterstock.com

On August 17, a 17-year-old Bosnian was beaten and shaved by her family. The reason ? She wanted to marry a young man of 20, Serbian Christian, while the family is Muslim. The family has just been tried and sentenced to prison and deportation. The teenager, for her part, will be supported by child welfare until she comes of age.

The condemned family

The family members of a 17-year-old Bosnian Muslim girl were convicted of assaulting and shearing her, and were deported to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The teenager’s parents, as well as their 3 other children, were taken to the administrative detention center in Metz, then brought to Nancy on Saturday morning to be repatriated to Sarajevo, announced in the entourage of the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin.

The girl’s uncle and aunt, sentenced like the parents to one year in prison at first instance, including four months suspended, benefit from the refugee status. The Home Secretary claimed that they had “Nothing to do on national soil”, and that they too would be returned to the border at the end of legal proceedings.

Beaten to be in love

The story of Selma, this teenager, had aroused a strong emotion in France and abroad, recalling the dark hours of the Liberation when thousands of women had been shorn for having loved the Germans under the Occupation, as well as the religious and inter-ethnic violence committed in the 1990s, during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. The girl was beaten and shaved by her parents, uncle and aunt, after running away with her 20-year-old lover. They would not have put up with her marrying someone of another religion than them, the uncle having even estimated that “When a young underage girl does a big mistake, they cut her hair, it’s like a fine”. “Having your hair cropped, when it is imposed, it takes away our beauty, our femininity, it is moreover the symbol that they wanted to convey”, protests on his side the lawyer of the victim, Me Céline Party.

The accused “Denied having beaten Selma. The father says he just mowed her, the mother slapped her twice, the aunt a stroller on her shoulder and the uncle, not to have touched her ”, notes the prosecutor Etienne Manteaux. But “How do you explain the severity of the forensic examination, broken ribs, multiple bruises, 14 days of ITT…? “, he asked himself. Parents’ lawyer, Me Catherine Bresson, said she could not find ” not normal “ than expulsion “Was done behind everyone’s back, on the sly”, while maintaining that she had “Legally no way to oppose it”. The victim’s lawyer also noted that the parents “Were subject to an obligation to leave French territory” and “Had opted for a voluntary departure, which could not be put in place because of the confinement”. “I wish things weren’t done this way so that my client could say goodbye to her brothers and sisters”, she added.

On the eve of the trial, the 2 teenagers looked back on those terrible days. “We fled the house for a few days, hoping that they would get used to the idea that I was their son-in-law”, says the young man. “They bamboozled us. They tricked us into coming home. When we got back, it was general chaos. They started hitting her, cutting her hair, and asking her why she had chosen a Christian as her husband. At that time, I didn’t know how to react, I quickly left and called the police ”, he continues. Parents have since expressed regret. “We think they should be punished because everything they have done is still serious”, concludes the teenager. They hope to continue their life in France.


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