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Report: Ex-Labour Migration Lawyer Asama Javed Is Forced Marriage Fixer for Young Girls

This picture taken in Kabul on October 12, 2011 shows Afghan woman Nozari as she poses for a portrait at a shelter run by women for Afghan women. Nozari fled her home due to alleged domestic violence and discrimination. In the war-torn country, Afghan women often oppressed by poverty, family …
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Immigration lawyer and former local Labour councillor Asama Javed advised an undercover journalist there is “nothing wrong” with a father forcing a 15-year-old daughter into marriage, according to reports.

The former Labour Party councillor, primary school governor, and member of Bradford Council’s fostering board was caught on video giving the advice from her office desk to an undercover reporter for The Times, who pretended to have two teen daughters, the youngest of which he was looking to force into an arranged marriage.

The exposé comes after it emerged that the Home Office has been handing out visas to the ‘husbands’ of victims of forced marriage, having received 175 inquiries from abuse victims trying to block their spouses’ visas last year.

Telling Mrs Javed that his oldest daughter — who had just turned 18 — was already married and pregnant in Pakistan, he said that he wanted to bring her and her husband back to Britain but that his daughter was unhappy and may object to the husband’s spousal visa.

Speaking in a mixture of Urdu and English, the partner with Reiss Solicitors in Bradford — a northern English city which has a high Muslim population — told the undercover reporter not to apply for a spousal visa, and instead to bring the daughter back to England to have her child so that the husband could apply for residency as the child’s father, even against the woman’s wishes.

“If your daughter comes here and gives birth to a boy or girl, he can come as the father of the child. Then your daughter doesn’t need to sign,” the immigration lawyer advised, noting: “If you know that your daughter is not happy and she would not agree to that, then the alternative is better to call her here, look after her and let her give birth to a child and he can come after that direct as a father.”

The Times reporter then asked about getting his 15-year-old ‘daughter’ married in Pakistan, and Mrs Javed warned him that “if she goes to the police and tells them or tells the school, you will be in trouble,” and advised that he wait until she was 16 — the age of sexual consent in Britain.

However, she said: “If she is mentally or physically ready and she is 15 or 16 years old, then there is no harm in it.”

The Bradford lawyer then advised the ‘father’ to “spoil” his younger daughter and “bring [her] on your side” and that she may be persuaded to go along with the arranged marriage — despite it being illegal to assist or encourage a forced marriage offence in this way.

Mrs Javed has had an illustrious career in local Bradford politics, having been a councillor for the left-wing Labour Party before switching to the Respect Party two years ago to run for MP, after her candidature for Labour was rejected by the party after it was found she was paying her dues through a work account, according to the Telegraph & Argus.

The Respect Party is strongly associated with its most famous member, far-left former Labour MP George Galloway, who described her joining as a “major coup” and said she was “a star” with “prestige and intellectual firepower”.

In a separate piece by The Times, the newspaper reported that a whistleblower from the Government’s forced marriage unit alleges that an unnamed Labour MP unwittingly helped to obtain a visa for the abusive Pakistani husband of an 18-year-old Pakistani-origin British woman forced into marriage.

It was alleged that the parents of the young bride appealed to their local MP to help bring their son-in-law to Britain, after she was sent away for the marriage and returned alone once she was pregnant, but that the MP did not know the woman was in a forced marriage.

“The husband is her first cousin so her parents went to their MP and asked them to intervene, saying they were madly in love and were about to have this child and he wanted to come over for the birth,” the source alleged.

“He has now got a spousal visa. The MP’s office intervened without speaking to her.”

The newspaper reached out to the politician, who is reported to have said that they had no recollection of the case or records and was “unable to establish whether any intervention was made by my office”.

The whistleblower told The Times that the forced marriage unit had not heard from the victim since her husband was allowed to enter the country.

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