A Muslim father and his two brothers have been found guilty in Germany of kidnapping a gay teenager and trying to force him to marry a girl.
Reuters reports that the 18-year-old man, Nasser El-Ahmad, has also claimed that his family tortured him, doused him in petrol and threatened to set him on fire and slit his throat because of his sexuality.
El-Ahmad came out to his family in 2012 at the age of 15, a fact they refused to accept. His father and uncles put him in a car and drove him out of the country in order to marry him off to a girl.
El-Ahmad was reported missing to Interpol and was located by police two days later at the Romanian-Bulgarian border.
The three men, who did not appear in court, were each fined 1,350 euros (about R18,000) by a German judge for depriving the young man of his freedom. His other claims of abuse did not form part of the trial.
“I did what I have the strength to do. At least this came to court, I’m happy about that,” El-Ahmad said. “I’m not someone who hides. I don’t want to suppress my sexuality.”
While young women being forced into marriages within culturally conservative communities is known to occur in Europe, the phenomenon is less visible when it comes to men.
Last month, a report by the Albert Kennedy Trust found that a number of LGBT homeless youth in the UK had run away from home to avoid being forced into arranged marriages.