Please read the asylum interview transcript below, then answer the multiple choice questions that follow.

Salimatou Diallo is 18 years old. Originally from country X, she arrived in country Y two years ago with her three-month old daughter, Aminita. This is the transcript of her first asylum interview, conducted immediately upon arrival.

– What is your marital status?

– Sorry?

– Your marital status?

– Euh… What is it?

– Are you married?

– I am single.

– Have you ever been to school?

– No, I was not allowed to. I stayed home with my sisters.

– Why did you come here?

– I was married by force…

– But you just said you were single? Can I see your passport or identity documents?


The interpreter intervenes to explain the question to Salimatou, who is embarrassed and confused.


– I don’t have identity documents. I don’t need them in my country. I only have a birth certificate.

– Explain to me why you fear being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, membership of a social group, nationality or political opinion?


The interpreter translates: “Explain your story.”


– I am from Country X, from Peul origin. I am a Muslim. I was living in the village with my parents. One day, my father told me that he had given me to a man for marriage. He is an old man, imam of the village. This man had already three spouses. I refused and explained to him that I wanted to marry my friend Bangura, but my father wouldn’t listen to me because Bangura is a Christian. That day, my mother and two uncles were present. Only my mother intervened to help me but she was sent away at that very moment and I haven’t seen her again.

– And then?

– Everyday, my father was beating me. After one week, he took me by force to his friend. He forced me to have sexual intercourse.

– When did the wedding take place?

– Someone told me the ceremony took place at the mosque before my arrival but I wasn’t there.

– When was this exactly?

– I don’t know.

– Apart from being raped by your husband, what were your duties in the home?

– I was taking care of the household, for instance I went to take water…

– Why did you flee?

– I had my baby. I had enough of this. It is my friend Bangura who helped me.

– Is that everything?

– Well, not really.

– What else happened to you?

– I have health problems because of what was done to me when I was 14 years old. With the forced marriage, this problem became bigger. I don’t want the same happening for my daughter.

– You are asking for protection or coming for medical reasons?

– I am asking for protection. I don’t want this life for my daughter and me. Please help me.

– Could you ask for protection from the authorities at home, or from a women’s organisation?

– No, they wouldn’t listen to me. I didn’t dare ask for it.

Answer the multiple choice questions that follow:

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