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French family kidnaps lesbian daughter fleeing arranged marriage

"Equal rights for all!" demands this banner on a pro-gay marriage demonstration in Nice last year Reuters/Jean-Pierre Amet

Three members of a French family of Turkish origin have been charged with kidnapping a young gay woman for fleeing an arranged marriage. They were caught by police after pursuing her across the country and forcing her into one of their cars.

The young woman, who is in her 20s, fled her family, who live in Alsace in the east of France, on 24 February and took refuge with friends in Tarbes, in the south-west.

On Sunday her father, mother, brother and brother-in-law drove across the country, forced her into one of their cars and drove off.

Police say that they may not have been aware that she was a lesbian until that moment.

After the victim’s partner reported the kidnapping to police, the car was stopped on the road to Toulouse.

She was taken to hospital in a state of shock, according to regional paper La Dépêche du Midi.

Prosecutors said the case was "based on homophobia and anti-feminism".