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Yemeni religious leaders oppose ban on child marriages

Decree issued in attempt to stop law to make it illegal for under-17s to marry.

March 23, 2010 9:42 by

Religious leaders in Yemen have issued a decree in an attempt to stop a proposed law that would make it illegal for children aged under 17 to marry.

Some of Yemen’s most influential Islamic leaders have declared supporters of the ban on child brides to be apostates, according to a report by AP.

The group behind the declaration includes the cleric Sheikh Abdul-Majid Al-Zindani, whom the United States has branded a spiritual mentor of Bin Laden.

More than a quarter of Yemen’s women marry before age 15, according to a report last year by the Social Affairs Ministry.

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