25 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/16/2009
SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi court confirms validity of marriage for eight-year-old girl
Criticisms from UNICEF and the U.S. State Department. The Riyadh justice minister himself says that he wants to put an end to the arbitrary power of parents who arrange marriages for minor children, but does not mention any ban.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) - UNICEF, the U.S. State Department, and human rights groups are protesting over the sentence from the Saudi court of Unaiza, which has confirmed the validity of the marriage between an eight-year-old girl and a fifty-year-old man.

The court confirmed that Islamic tradition allows girls to marry, on the condition that they not have sexual relations before puberty.

In theory, the woman's consent is required for a marriage to be valid, but many officials who perform weddings do not feel it is necessary to ask for this.

The question of the minimum age for marriage is extremely controversial in Islamic countries. Those who oppose setting one point out the fact that Mohammed himself took a nine-year-old girl as a wife. But women's movements and women in general see it as indirect human trafficking, in addition to its being the violation of a fundamental human right. This can even lead to the abandonment of the Islamic religion.

This case, however, seems capable of providing a jolt to the system, partly because of the desire for the modernization of his country expressed by King Abdullah. If UNICEF has said that it is "deeply concerned" by the sentence of the Saudi court, asserting that child marriage is "a violation of that child's rights," and a spokesman for the State Department, Robert Wood, has called it "a clear and unacceptable violation of human rights," the Saudi justice minister himself, Mohamed al-Issa, has announced that he wants to "put an end to arbitrariness by parents and guardians in marrying off minor girls." The minister, however, did not mention a ban, but only the desire to "preserve the rights" of girls, and "end the negative aspects of underage girls' marriage."

Behind marriages like these, in fact, in addition to tribal traditions, there is often economic trafficking, with actual "purchase" of child brides on the part of adult men. The practice, in fact, is present above all in the poorest areas of countries in the Arabian Peninsula, like Yemen.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/10/2008 PAKISTAN
Christian girl, kidnapped and converted by Muslims, returned to family
by Qaiser Felix
03/24/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Religious police accused of torture by Saudi Society for Human Rights
03/07/2007 SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi women discriminated against even in marriage with foreigners
03/11/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Prison, whipping for 75-year-old widow: her nephew brought her bread
02/26/2009 YEMEN
A "fatwa" against Yemeni law setting minimum age for marriage

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.