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  • Saudi 8-year-old wife seeks divorce

    Father married her off without telling her

    A Saudi court is scheduled next month to look into a divorce plea from an eight-year-old girl married off by her father to a man in his fifties, according to press reports.

    Unaizah Province court set Ramadan 18 (September 18, 2008) as the date for hearing the plea in a case that has stirred much debate in Saudi Arabia, according to Saudi daily Al-Watan.

    The case was filed by the girl’s mother and the defense lawyer was quoted by the paper as saying that everything started when the wife complained that her husband married of the fourth-grade child to a man in his fifties without the girl’s knowledge or consent.

    “The girl has just passed her fourth grade and does not have a clue about her being married,” the lawyer was quoted as saying.

    The newspaper also quoted an unnamed relative of the child wife as saying “some family members filed a complaint with the Saudi human rights committee against the father”.

    Last July, a 60-year old Saudi man who was set to marry a 10-year old girl— he 'won' in a bet with her father— was forced to postpone his marriage after protests from human rights groups.

    Last April, a Yemeni court granted a divorce to an eight-year-old girl on the grounds that she had not yet reached puberty after her unemployed father forced her into an arranged marriage earlier in the year.