Saudi judge still refuses to annul 8-year-old girl’s arranged marriage

April 13, 2009

Saudi Arabia (ChattahBox) — While one tries to respect the ‘different’ customs that exist in other cultures, some practices just defy moral sanctity. An eight-year-old girl married off by her father to a man who is 58 cannot get a divorce according to a Saudi court for the second time, who says she should wait until shes reaches puberty before making such a decision. Not old enough to make such choices but old enough to marry? The divorce plea was first filed by the girl’s divorced mother with a court at Unayzah in August, just after the marriage contract was signed by the father and the groom.

The father apparently brokered the deal to sell off his daughter for an advance dowry of £5,000, in order to settle his debts with the man, who is “a close friend” of his. Relatives said that the marriage had not yet been consummated, and that that the father had set a verbal condition by which the marriage is not consummated for another 10 years, when the girl turns 18. Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism. Last month, an appeals court in the Saudi capital of Riyadh declined to certify the original ruling, in essence rejecting al-Habib’s verdict, and sent the case back to al-Habib for reconsideration. The most recent ruling, in which the judge upheld his original verdict, was handed down Saturday in the Saudi city of Onaiza. The relative said the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, “stuck by his earlier verdict and insisted that the girl could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty,” according to a CNN report. The appeals court in Riyadh will now take up the case again and a hearing is scheduled for next month, according to the relative.


One Response to “Saudi judge still refuses to annul 8-year-old girl’s arranged marriage”

  1. ElCortezHotel on April 13th, 2009 11:58 am

    Thanks for the article.

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