Human right advocates say 70-year-old man has married a 15-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia, where there is no law that stipulates a minimum age for marriage.
According to CNN, the teenage girl’s parents sold her to the man for the equivalent of $20,000. The marriage came to light when the man complained to a local official after his young bride left him and returned to her parents. The man claimed the girl’s family had taken her back and he’d been ripped off.
“She is not 15 as everybody claims,” the man, who refused to give his name, told CNN. “She’s 25 years old and she’s mature enough to make her own decisions… I was fooled by the girl’s family.”
Per CNN’s report, the man’s account is being countered by human rights workers who believe there was a fight between the teen and the man, and she ran back to her family.
In light of the incident, Dr. Hadi Al-Yami, the head of the Asir branch of the Human Rights Commission, a Saudi government supported organization, says his group is planning to offer the girl as much help as she’s able to receive, particularly legal help in case the courts require her to formally dispute the marriage.
The girl, whose mother is Saudi and father is believed to be Yemeni, is from Al-Hurath village in Jizan province, in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen.
Readers: Regardless of what laws in Saudi Arabia state, do you believe child marriage is a violation of human rights?