Tuesday, January 08, 2013

90-year-old Saudi man's marriage to 15-year-old girl sparks condemnation

The recent marriage of a 90-year-old Saudi man to a 15-year-old girl has sparked condemnation from human rights activists in the kingdom. Activists criticized the parents of the girl for giving her to a man decades older than her. In an interview, the groom insisted that his marriage was “legal and correct,” and that he paid a SAR 65,000 (£10,800, $17,500) dowry to marry the girl, who is the daughter of a Yemeni father and Saudi mother.

The 90-year-old told the story of his first night with the bride. He said she entered the bedroom before him, and she locked the door from inside so he could not enter. This, he said, made him “suspicious about some kind of conspiracy” by the girl and her mother. He vowed to sue his in-laws to give him back the girl or return him the expensive dowry.

Close friends of the bride’s family said she was frightened on the wedding night, and locked herself in the room for two successive days before fleeing back to her parents’ home. The member of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights (NSHR), Suhaila Zein al-Abedin, urged authorities to intervene “as soon as possible to save this child from tragedy.” Abedin noted that marriage in Islam must be based on mutual consent, and this was not satisfied, as demonstrated by the girl’s move to lock herself in the room.

She said the girl’s parents were also to be held responsible for marrying their daughter to a man the age of her great grandfather. Abedin urged the establishment of a minimum age of 18 for marrying girls, saying this would pave the way for punishing violators. Jamal al-Toueiki, a psychologist, said forced marriage may subject girls to abuse and violence, and this could lead to their suicide if nothing is done to save them.


Brixter said...

That some strong man. I rarely see 90+ guys and more so who still have energy to do IT. Super creepy though.

Anonymous said...

I hardly think that's the point Brixter -- this is child abuse and a horrific situation for her on so many levels, not least of which is the fact that this elderly pervert bought a young girl and that she has little to no rights to protect her.

Anonymous said...

Seriously Brixter - *That* is what you took away from this story?!

Mike said...

'...Saudi National Association for Human Rights..' probably has as much influence as the American Association of Telegraph Operators.

Brixter said...

Y u so serious? :P

Anonymous said...

Because this is a very serious issue that concerns the abuse and slavery of tens of thousands of helpless human beings. This is not an isolated case, and not something to be taken lightly. I am very disappointed that anyone can read "a young girl was sold by own her family into a life of servitude and sexual slavery at the hands of an older man" and only think "hurr hurr, he old, he can't get it up, dat's creepy or summat lol"
I bet you'd feel differently if that poor girl were your sister or daughter.