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 News Release: Premiere of SYR film ‘Life In The UK’ and Research Report on Forced Marriage, The House of Lords

News Release

Premiere of SYR film ‘Life In The UK’

and Research Report on Forced Marriage

The House of Lords

17 May 2011 at 18:15 Hr.

Chaired by Lord Ahmed

On 17 May 2011, Save Your Rights (SYR) hosted an event at the House of Lords to premiere its film ‘Life in the UK’ directed by Jobair Babu.  The film, a docu-drama and SYR’s major project in 2010, was funded by the Big Lottery and supported by Diverse FM, Ashuk Ahmed MBE and many others.

The premiere was chaired by Lord Ahmed.  In addition to the attendance of many distinguished guests and volunteers, SYR was particularly honored to have in attendance Lord Hussain, Lord Dubs, Dr. Nazia Khanum OBE, Mushtaq Lasharie, DCI Nigel Stone (Bedfordshire Police), Chaz Akoshile (incoming Joint Head of the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU)), and Deborah Aitken (Consular Officer of the Canadian High Commission). 

Lord Ahmed recalled how, as the one of the first people in the Asian community to raise the issue of forced marriage publicly, he had received threats from his community.  Lord Hussain highlighted the importance of educating parents about the problem and reiterated that forced marriage was against all mainstream religions.  Lord Dubs encouraged everyone present to take the anti-forced marriage message to their communities and pledged to highlight the issue in the political arena.  While Dr Khanum OBE, who chaired the SYR research and ethics committee, spoke out against any criminalisation of forced marriage on the ground that victims were reluctant to imprison their parents.  Chaz Akoshile noted the importance of inter-agency work and co-operation.  Deborah Aitken said that she was now coming across a number of cases of forced marriage involving Canadian citizens.

At the event, SYR also launched a research paper, ‘The Legal Framework on Forced Marriages in the United Kingdom and some Recommendations.’  The paper, compiled by a specially commissioned research and ethics team,

examines the development of the law on forced marriage and considers developments in the wake of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.  Samir Pasha, the team leader, outlined recommendations for future developments in the area.

Lynne Townley (SYR Secretary), Mamunul Islam MBA (SYR Projects Director) and Ranjula Takodra MBE (SYR President) gave votes of thanks to all those who had assisted with the doc-drama and the research report.  Lynne further highlighted how the charity functioned solely on the goodwill of its volunteers and outlined how SYR planned to campaign on an international level in future through creative use of its available resources, in particular, the internet.

Forced marriage is an abuse of human rights and a fundamental wrong.  It is not lawful in the UK.  However, many young people living in this country are forced into marriages against their will every year. In 2010, the FMU dealt with 1,735 cases.  The creation of the FMU and the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 are important measures to stop this abuse from occurring.

Unfortunately, for many of those threatened by forced marriage, legal remedies are often remote and difficult to access. Victims can be vulnerable and may also be at risk from honour-based violence.  Many are under intense pressure from their families and communities to be complicit to the marriage. Some may also fear that taking legal action will not assist them.  Furthermore, if any legal interventions are to be effective, they must be supported not only by active community engagement, but also by changes in society. 

Downloads and Notes to the editors:

Download film trailer

Download event photos

* For a copy of the research report please email us.

Save Your Rights (SYR) is a registered human rights charity (No - 1130378). SYR runs a campaign committed to ending forced marriages, working in the UK and many other countries.  It has assisted victims of forced marriage and empowered them to seek help. 

This press release is published on 17th May 2011 and on behalf of SYR secretary Miss. Lynne Townley (LLB (Hons), LLM, Barrister-at-law). For further information about this event and any media enquiry, please email M Islam, project director at admin@saveyourrights.org

Anyone interested in supporting this multi-faith, multi-cultural campaigning organisation to end forced marriages contact:

Save Your Rights (SYR)
Call/Text: +44 (0) 7988 841 228

View on http://www.youtube.com/saveyourrights
Find us on www.facebook.com/saveyourrights 

Invited guest list:

Guest list


Organisation /position /notes

Lord Nazir Ahmad

The House of Lords

Lord Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh

The House of Lords


Lord Qurban Hussain

The House of Lords

Rushanara Ali MP


Anas Sarwar MP


Dr. Nazia Khanum OBE

Director, Equality in Diversity

Mushtaq Lasharie


Ranjula Takodra MBE

SYR (Trustee, President)

Barrister Miss. Lynne Townley

SYR (Trustee, Secretary)

Mamunul Islam MBA

(Moon Mamun)

SYR (co-founder & Project Director),

Ashuk Ahmed MBE

SYR supporter , Diverse fm

Suyeb Alom

SYR (co-founder & Accountant),

Ms. Asifa Niazi

SYR ( Trustee & Assistant Project director)

Mr. Amit Girish Shah

SYR Trustee

Advocate Muhammad Ashraful Islam

SYR Trustee


Mr. Samir Pasha

SYR R&E committee leader

Mr. Joe Vester

SYR R&E committee secretary

Mr. Andrew Barnes

SYR R&E Committee member

Miss. Nadja Abia

SYR R&E Committee member

Mr. Josh Normanton

SYR R&E Committee member

Shahin Badar




Organisation /position /notes

Chaz Akoshile

Joint head of FMU

UK Human rights & equality council


Cllr. Sameem Ali

Stop forced marriage campaigner

Imam Mufti Liaquat Ali Amod


Rabbi Dr. Julian Shindler


R K Bhatt


Femi Meshe

Metropolitan Police

Nikki Hubbard

Metropolitan Police, HBV

Mayor Graham Webster

Aylesbury Town council

Karen Park

South Bucks districts council

John Robinson

Music Technician

Maruf Ahmed


Maddocks Lynne

Aylesbury district council

Anwar Hussain


Aliyza Shahi


Yasmin Hussain


Serin Ibrahim


Nurul Amin


Mahfuza Rahman


Ariane Barnes


Nurul Absar


Nurul Islam


Rujina Monnan


Avita Jay


Siva M Sivakumaran


Jaspal Badwell


Jessica Lucia Andrade


Monju Haque


Kay Patel


Syed Jobair Ahmed

(Jobiar Babu)

SYR/ Film Director

Andrew Carn


Constantine Katsaras


Rafiqul Islam


AKM Masum

Accurate accountancy

Salem Ahmed

Saffron, Bedford

Farhad Chowdhury

Mr Reza Chudhury

TV Media, channel i

Hafiz Alam Bakhsh

TV Media, ATN Bangla

Masudur Rahman

Press / Muslim weekly

London Bangla Press Club


Tombir Ahmed


Tushar Mustafi

Flick media









Shamsul Arifin

SYR supporter

Mohmmed Junel Miah


Halimah Abu Backer


Sayd Laskar

Manager, Islah

Naushida Bashir


Awards for All


H.E. Mr. Nalin Surie

High commissioner of India

H. E.  Dr. M. Sayeedur Rahman Khan

(Mr Rashed Chowdhury )

High commissioner of Bangladesh

H. E. Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hasan

High commissioner of Pakistan

H. E. Mr. James Wright

(Deborah Aitken)

High commissioner of Canada

Mr. Asif Durrani

Deputy High Commissioner Pakistan

Neelam Mahmood

Aylesbury police

Jon Chapman

(DCI Glen Channer )

Hertfordshire Police

Nigel Stone


Lord Dubs

The House of Lords

Dr. Muhammad As'ad (Michael Berdine)

Cambridge Muslim College

David Lidington MP


MA Kader

ATN Bangla TV reporter

Shakeel Ahmed

C/O Ashuk Ahmed MBE

Tanyeem Ahmed

C/O Ashuk Ahmed MBE

Solicitor Imran Chowdhury

Social Secretary to HE

Bangladesh High Commission London

Zeba Arif


Mohammad Abdul Hannan



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