State-sanctioned child abuse continues in Saudi Arabia. This month, a 12-year-old girl is trying to secure a divorce from her 80-year-old husband in Saudi Arabia. Not only was the marriage consummated but the man is a family member on her father’s side. Both the girl and mother opposed the marriage.
In the United States, the man would have been given a lengthy sentence for child rape and the father and other facilitators would have received jail time for their involvement. In Saudi Arabia, the primary controversy is whether the girl is entitled to a divorce. The father received 85,000 riyals (£14,500) to turn over his daughter to his cousin who is an obvious pedophile.
The Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia is giving the girl legal support in her effort to secure a divorce.
Such marriages are often defended on the basis of Mohammad’s marriage to 6-year-old Aisha, a marriage that was consummated when she was 9.
At 80 the man was a spring chicken in compared to what girls in other countries have faced, here, under this medieval and repugnant practice.
While there are those calls for passage of a new law barring child brides, the government has thus far refused to prohibit the practice, even after the controversy of a marriage of a 47-year-old man and an eight year old girl.
These cases often involve daughters being sold to settle debts. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Shaikh has defended such marriages.
Courts will sometimes order that there should be no consummation until after a girl reached puberty. Since girls can reach puberty as early as nine, this reform means that men can have sex with nine and ten year old girls under reforms guaranteed to avoid abuse.
For the full story, click here.