Eight-year-old Saudi girl divorces 50-year-old husband

May 1st, 2009 - 5:04 am ICT by IANS  

Riyadh, May 1 (DPA) An eight-year-old Saudi girl got divorced from her 50-year-old husband after the marriage drew severe criticism, the girl’s lawyer said Thursday.
Abdullah al-Jeteily said that the court in Onayza city approved the divorce decree after several officials in the region talked with the husband.

Two request by the girl’s mother for a divorce were rejected before, and one judge ruled that the girl would be able to file for divorce herself only after she reaches puberty.

Last year, the girl’s father forced her to marry the man in exchange for 50,000 Saudi Riyals (around $13,300).

The divorce came after months of court hearings and increasing criticism in local and international media and human rights organisations throughout the world.

In Saudi Arabia, there are no laws determining the minimum age for marriage. However, after the case became known to the public the Saudi justice minister said in press remarks that he planned to enact a law that will protect young girls from such marriages.

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