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Police deny 15-year-old girl forced to marry

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Police deny 15-year-old girl forced to marry
Photo: DPA
12:49 CEST+02:00
Berlin police on Tuesday denied reports that a 15-year-old girl they saved from a forced marriage last week was secretly returned to the city and married to a 19-year-old groom.

The case made national headlines last week when police said they were able to rescue the girl from the groom's family home in the city's Spandau district before the marriage took place. She had been able to provide the address and ask a friend for help via an online chat program.

The girl from Hamburg was subsequently handed over to emergency youth services unharmed, and later agreed to go home with her Serbian parents as police continued their investigation.

But late on Monday night, Berlin daily BZ reported it had evidence that the girl, identified as Fatima M., had not only been packed off to the capital once again, but that she had been married as planned to groom Nebojsa R. on May Day over the weekend. The paper also alleged it had evidence the marriage had been consummated.

“There is no concrete evidence of the marriage or that intercourse took place,” Berlin police spokesman Guido Busch told The Local, refusing to confirm any details of the report. “We were first alerted to the possible situation by the BZ itself, which is rather unorthodox. But we are feverishly trying to find out what may have happened.”

There was also an anonymous tip out of Hamburg in addition to BZ's allegations, Busch said.

So far police do not know Fatima M.'s location, he said.

According to an unnamed source cited by the paper, though, the Spandau home of the alleged groom, whose family is also of Serbian background, has been receiving a stream of visitors in what appears to be wedding celebrations.

“We can't just invade someone's home because of a media report,” Busch told The Local. “We are doing our best to clarify the situation.”

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