Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Missing GP 'held' in Bangladesh

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Doctor 'held in Bangladesh'

An NHS doctor is missing amid claims she is being held in Bangladesh by her family and could be forced into a marriage.

Dr Humayra Abedin, 33, from East Ham, east London, was last seen four months ago.

She had travelled to Dhaka in August and had been due to start a new job later that month in London.

The High Court has ordered her family in London to reveal her whereabouts in a bid to prevent a forced marriage.

It is understood the Bangladeshi authorities are helping in the bid to determine her whereabouts.

BBC News went to the family home in Dhaka but a man who did not identify himself said he had not seen the family since last February and did not know where the doctor was.

'Unusual' disappearance

Dr Abedin came to Britain in September 2002, when she studied for a Masters Degree in Public Health at Leeds University.

She had been due to start work in August as a registrar at a GP's surgery in east London but travelled to Dhaka after being told that her mother was ill.

Lawyer Anne-Marie Hutchinson, acting for Dr Abedin, said: "The is a young, professional, educated woman, living and working in London.

"She had an independent life and given that and her age, the disappearance is quite unusual.

"But the events surrounding the disappearance - the subterfuge, travelling aboard on the pretext somebody was ill and then being kept there - is not that unusual I'm afraid to say."

The High Court has served the family with an injunction under the new Forced Marriage Act effectively blocking any marriage.

The family has until 14 December to allow her return or they could be jailed for failing to comply with a court order.

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