Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
A 15-year-old Saudi girl married off by her parents to a 90-year-old Saudi man against her will won a divorce with the help of a human rights group.
The Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) revealed it helped the girl get the divorce from the Jizan province man because she resisted the child marriage. The names of the man and the girl were withheld.
The man reportedly gave nearly $20,000 worth of dowry to the girl's parents in exchange for marriage to their young daughter.
The girl locked herself in her bedroom on her wedding night before fleeing to her parents' home in Al-Hurath village. The man then complained to a local court that the girl's parents fooled him into giving the dowry by taking back their daughter.
The SHRC learned the case and provided the girl and her family legal assistance. The girl, her parents and the man met and settled their dispute by getting a divorce.
The case angered another human rights group. The Saudi National Association for Human Rights said the girl was not married but sold to the man. It held the parents responsible.
The SHRC is clamoring for the issuance of a law that sets the minimum marriage age of girls at 18. There is no local law against child marriage, which clerics and religious judges believe is justified in the Koran and by tradition.
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