Australian Federal Police (AFP) have arrested three people over the alleged forced marriage of a young Victorian woman who was later allegedly murdered by her husband in Perth. The AFP alleges the trio coerced Ruqia Haidari into a forced marriage.
Ms Haidari had sought help from the Australian Federal Police prior to the marriage, and told detectives she was being forced to co-operate, and members of her family had threatened her to comply. The Australian Federal Police said it offered her protection and assistance to leave her situation on several occasions.
Ms Haidari and her husband Mohammad Ali Halimi left Victoria for Perth soon after the marriage took place. She died in January this year after being allegedly attacked by Mr Halimi at their Balcatta townhouse. Mr Halimi was charged with murder and is due to return to court later this month.
The three people arrested this week have all been charged with causing a person to enter a forced marriage. All three faced court in Shepparton and were released on bail to return to court at a later date.
AFP Southern Command Acting Commander Investigations Jayne Crossling said the case showed the importance of the fight against human trafficking. “This is a particularly tragic example of a vulnerable victim in an alleged forced marriage situation, and underscores why the AFP dedicates significant resources to this issue nationally,” she said.
“Human trafficking including forced marriage does not discriminate. This issue goes beyond borders or religious affiliation. “Victims of human trafficking can be male or female, adults or children and come from all walks of life, community, nationality and culture.”