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Saudi child bride drops fight to divorce 80-year-old

Girl, 12, unexpectedly gives up petition to split with man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry.

February 2, 2010 10:43 by

A 12-year-old Saudi girl has given up her fight to divorce an 80-year-old man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry, according to Saudi media quoted by AFP.

Despite support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, the girl and her mother, who originally sought the divorce, unexpectedly withdrew the case Monday. The girl told a court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement, according to Okaz newspaper.

The case caused an uproar after Al-Riyadh newspaper reported that it had been consummated. The girl pleaded with a journalist from the newspaper to “save me”.

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  1. Miss Anne Thropic on February 3, 2010 8:51 am

    Of course it is only a matter of time before someone defends child marriage as “cultural” even though the world has moved on since this was culturally acceptable and pretty much no 12-year-old girl is physically, mentally or emotionally ready for the responisibilities of marriage.

    To simply say something is OK because it is “cultural” is a lazy argument that doesn’t take into account social change. For example, the Spartans of ancient Greece used to leave weak babies outside overnight to die of exposure but times changes and this does not happen in modern Greece. If it did and someone defended it as “cultural”, they’d be rightly howled down.

  2. Thomas on February 3, 2010 10:40 am

    This is a 12 year old chiild who is too young to make these kinds of decisions, let alone marry. Her parents & ‘husband’ should be brought to justice and the ‘marriage’ declared illegal.

  3. Babu on February 3, 2010 2:48 pm

    I think, Saudi Arabia has already passed a law BANNING child marriages. According to that new law, a bride has to attain atleast 18 years for a marriage.

  4. Ahmad on February 3, 2010 7:10 pm

    How is this any different from pedophilia, child slavery or rape? She is just 12. Haram.

  5. Miss Anne Thropic on February 7, 2010 2:09 pm

    This is what happens in countries where sex outside of marriage is illegal and as such, there are no minimum age of consent laws in place. As far as these societies are concerned, any married sex is OK regardless of the youth of the bride, the lack of consent or any outrageous age difference.

    It is worrying and ridiculous that consensual sex between two 30-something unmarried adults is illegal but sex between a teenager married off to someone much older is perfectly acceptable.

  6. Andrew on February 7, 2010 4:51 pm

    Worrying, ridiculous … but you forgot downright disturbing.

  7. DISSIDENT_THOUGHT on February 17, 2010 9:12 pm

    Send the do-gooders packing. Bye, do-gooders.
    You don’t belong in Saudi Arabia.


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