Saudi Arabia: Human slavery and incest: Saudi girl, eight, married off to 58-year-old is denied divorce

The Muslim Issue

An eight-year old Saudi Arabian girl who was married off by her father to a 58-year-old man has been told she cannot divorce her husband until she reaches puberty.

Lawyer Abdu Jtili said the divorce petition was filed by the unnamed girl’s divorced mother in August after the marriage contract was signed by her father and the groom. “The judge has dismissed the plea because she [the mother] does not have the right to file, and ordered that the plea should be filed by the girl herself when she reaches puberty,” lawyer Abdullah Jtili told the AFP news agency.

The case was handled by a court in Qasim province, north of the Saudi capital Riyadh. The girl does not know she is married, said Jtili, adding that he will appeal.

In many child marriages, girls are given away to older men in return for dowries or following the custom by…

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