Afshan Azad, 22, is a talented and beautiful actress who played Padma Patil, a classmate of Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series. She is now achieving equal notoriety in court after she sought protection from her father and brother who allegedly threatened her life over a association with a male Hindu. Her family is Muslim and allegedly wanted her to accept an arranged marriage. Her father — Abul Azad, 53– allegedly threatened her life and called her a “slag” and a “prostitute.” She also accused her brother — Ashraf, 28 — of making threats against her life. However, she then refused to give testimony in court as if the entire incident were wiped away with a memory charm.
The Court noted that Azad had refused to give evidence despite “expensive and time-consuming” attempts by court staff and prosecutors. She indicated that the arrest of her father and brother placed her in “genuine danger.”
The failure to testify is particularly worrisome given her earlier statement that described her private dementors: “[m]y father began saying he would do it, a reference to kill her, as he did not want his sons to have her blood on their hands and he would do time for it. Then she began to feel very scared . . . she having apparently been so scared of her family she left her home address via her bedroom window . . . Part of her version of events was that he was going to force the complainant into a forced marriage of some sort.”
As part of her retraction, Azad claimed that her father’s heavy Bengali accent and could not be sure what he had said and denied that earlier threats. I must confess that I find that explanation a bit implausible since she grew up with a father with that accent.