Wednesday, 22 October 2014  -  28 Thul-Hijjah 1435 H

90-year-old’s marriage to teenage girl sparks controversy

Last updated: Monday, January 07, 2013 8:33 AM

Saudi Gazette report

JAZAN – Reports that a 90-year-old man married a 15-year-old girl last week in Jazan after paying her family a dowry of SR65,000 has caused outrage among human rights groups, Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Sunday.

The teenage girl reportedly panicked on her wedding night and locked herself in the bedroom for two days.


 The husband then called her family to come and pick her up, believing he had been deceived by the girl and her mother into paying them SR65,000.

He told Al-Hayat that he would file a lawsuit against the girl’s parents, a Yemeni father and a Saudi mother.

He said the parents should either bring back his wife to him or give the dowry.

Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen, a member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), called on authorities to swiftly intervene and save the girl.

She said there was too huge an age gap between the man and the girl.

“The girl did not consent to the marriage and that was why she locked herself in. She didn’t want to marry the old man.”

Zain Al-Abideen held the girl’s parents responsible for marrying her off to a very old man, and called on the government to set a minimum age for marriage at 18.

Jamal Al-Twairqi, a psychologist, said the girl is too young to make a decision on her marriage. If she is forced to go back to her husband, she might commit suicide, he warned.

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