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‘I will Not Divorce My 80 year old Husband’- 12 year old Saudi Girl

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It must be parental pressure from the father why else this girl would agree to stay married to an 80 year old who had given a dowry payment of 85,000 riyals (22,667 dollars) to her father last September in Buraidah, in Al-Qasim province.As both the parents of this child bride are seperated at the time of her marriage she was unable to protect herself. Tragically this totally inappropriate marriage was also consummated.

The case caused an uproar after Al-Riyadh newspaper first reported it in early January, saying the marriage had been consummated and quoting the girl as pleading to the journalist to “save me.”

Fortunately her mother came into the picture and she gave the support to her daughter petitioned the court to annul the marriage and charged that the girl had been raped.

Obviously there was support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, even the influential daughter of King Abdullah, Princess Adela bint Abdullah, expressed concern over the girl’s marriage.

“I, personally, and many specialists in social and education fields, share the opinion” that it is in violation of children’s rights,” Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.
“A child has the right to live her childhood and not be forced to get married. Even an adult would not accept that,” she said.

But somewhere down the line the mother and daughter duo lost courage and the girl told the court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement, according to Okaz newspaper.” I agree to the marriage. I have no objection. This is in filial respect to my father and obedience to his wish ” She has said, her case was supposed to have been heard on Monday.

Naturally Saleh al-Dabibi, a lawyer supplied by a charity group to help the girl, and an unnamed official of the government’s Human Rights Commission, which was originally asked by the mother to help in getting the marriage annulled, told Arab News they too were surprised by the mother and daughter dropping the case.

Saudi Arabia has no law against child marriage, and clerics and religious judges justify the practice based on Islamic and Saudi tradition.
Perhaps this was the reason they backed out.

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