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?
– 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: