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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

12-year old Saudi bride drops divorce petition

A follow-up to this story, from Arab News:
A 12-year-old girl who was married off to an 80-year-old man in Buraidah has dropped her request for a divorce just one day before a court hearing to annul the marriage.

A source at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) said the girl, her mother and legal representative came to court and withdrew the request.

The girl failed to appear in court on Monday when the hearing was originally supposed to be heard. Her legal representative did not provide a valid reason for her absence.

The HRC, which had formed a committee to investigate the marriage, was stunned that the girl had dropped her request. “No one really knows the real reason behind the change of heart,” said the source, adding that although the HRC cannot interfere in people’s personal lives, it would continue lobbying for a minimum marriage age.

The case has attracted a lot of interest. The girl’s father married her off to his 80-year-old cousin in exchange of SR85,000 in dowry money. However, the girl’s mother, who is separated from her father, accused the man of raping her daughter.

The girl had also told a local journalist over the phone that she “doesn’t want him, save me.” When the mother’s lawyer failed to get the marriage annulled, she brought the case to the attention of the Kingdom’s media.

Something fishy is going on....