A Saudi Arabian man paid the equivalent of $20,000 as a dowry to a 15 year old girl's family for the right to marry her. Human rights activists have spoken out against this outrageous situation. According to CNN on Tuesday, Jan. 8 the man is upset because his new wife left him and claims he was ripped off.
The 70 year old man refused to provide his name during an interview with CNN. However, he did state he went to the local officials and complained to them because his 15 year old wife deserted him. He also stated he thought she was 25 years of age.
The girl's family immediately took her back in after she left the man's home. Nevertheless, he continues to complain that the girl isn't 15 years old. According to him her family is lying and she's actually at 25 year old mature woman.
"She is not 15 as everybody claims," he said. "She's 25 years old and she's mature enough to make her own decisions... I was fooled by the girl's family."
She is from Al-Hurath village in Jizan province, in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, according to Dr. Hadi Al-Yami, the head of the Asir branch of the Human Rights Commission. The group is backed by the Saudi government.
The Human Rights Commission is currently investigating the situation and will offer the girl and her family legal assistance if she has any trouble disputing the marriage in court.
"When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold," Dr. Suhaila Zeinal-Abedin of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights said. "The girl's parents need to be held responsible for this."
The Human Rights Commission are working to propose a minimum age of marriage. Hopefully, they will be able to circumvent situations like this from happening in the near future.
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