A Bangladesh lesbian couple is being threatened with life imprisonment for ‘marrying’ in secret. Shibronty Roy Puja, a 16-year-old Hindu, and Sanjida Akter, 21-year-old Muslim, were arrested in Dhaka on 23 July. The two girls had run away from the Pirojpur district, where they both lived, last week to the Bangladeshi capital. According to local media, Akter had been tutoring Puja. It was only recently they realized their feelings for each other and decided to marry. On 20 July, Puja’s father reported his daughter missing. When the couple was found by police, Puja said: ‘If a male can love a female, why couldn’t a female love another female?’ She then said the couple had married according to Hindu law, having exchanged garlands of flowers. An investigating police officer described it as being a ‘rare example in our country’. Same-sex relationships, sexual or otherwise, are illegal in Bangladesh.
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