90-yr-old Saudi marries 15-yr-old girl, sparks condemnation

Dubai:  A 90-year-old Saudi man's marriage to a 15-year-old girl in exchange for a fat dowry has sparked widespread condemnation from human rights and social media activists in the kingdom.

The frightened girl locked out her husband refusing him entry to the bedroom for two successive days before fleeing back to her parents' home, the Al-Arabia reported.

But the groom insisted that his marriage was "legal and correct", and that he paid 17,500 US dollars as dowry to marry the girl, who is the daughter of a Yemeni father and Saudi mother.

He vowed to sue his in-laws to give him back the girl or return him the expensive dowry.

The travails of the girl evoked widespread condemnation from the people, who used Twitter to criticise the parents of the girl for giving her out to a man decades older than her.

Suhaila Zein el-Abedin, a member of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights, urged authorities to intervene "as soon as possible to save this child from tragedy."

El-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 up in the room.

She said the girl's parents were also to be held responsible for marrying their daughter to a man of the age of her grand grandfather.

On Twitter, Mouhammad Khaled Alnuzha ?@mkalnuzha, a legal expert asks Is this a case of human trafficking crimes punishable by law?

Nawal Saad @lhnalkhlwd wrote on his account: "When people of reason and wisdom are asked to be silent and the ludicrous are set loose, we will see these anti-human behaviours."

Story First Published: January 07, 2013 13:22 IST

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