Six devoutly Muslim relatives of a 22-year-old French woman drove 1,000 kilometres to forcibly remove her from a life “they were opposed to,” but were stopped by police, according to reports.
The young woman fled her family in Strasbourg, in eastern France, April 24 to go live with a female friend on the other side of the country in the tiny Pyrenees village of Vieuzos. She had apparently run away after her relatives tried to force her into an arranged marriage.
However, her Franco-Turkish family managed to track the young woman down and set out on May 4th on the cross country trip to bring her back to them. Apparently believing in the strength of numbers, her father, mother, two uncles, brother-in-law and brother -- who carried a pistol --made the journey together.
“According to the woman, her family, where religion was dominant, refused to accept her homosexuality,” Prosecutor Jean-Christophe Muller told French daily Ouest France.
The family allegedly forced the young woman from the house and into one of their cars where she was hit and bullied by her relatives. But the woman’s friend, who witnessed the abduction, called reported the incident to police.
Officers stopped the car the same night somewhere near Toulouse and arrested the young woman’s family and took her to hospital for the treatment of minor injuries.
Four of her relatives were locked up and charged in connection with the abduction. Two others were out of custody on judicial supervision. The family members claim they had no idea the young woman was even gay.
The prosecutor admits it's a complicated case, but was unwavering in his belief it had taken place in a “backdrop of homophobia and anti-feminism.”
Another French family recently was accused of kidnapping a family member in an effort to force her to get an abortion. Those folks were also stopped by police before they completed their plan.