Yemen prevents 10-year-old from accepting Women’s World award

March 6th, 2009 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, March 5 (DPA) A 10-year-old Yemeni girl was not able to receive a Woman’s World Award Thursday for fighting her forced marriage, as Yemeni authorities prevented her from travelling to Austria, according to the awards organiser.
Nojoud Muhammad Nasser was scheduled to accept the honour in the world hope category in a ceremony in Vienna, along with fellow honorees such as Italian actress Monica Bellucci and US pop singers Anastacia and Kelly Clarkson.

Nasser made headlines in April 2008, when she fought through her divorce in a Yemeni court after two months of marriage to a 30-year-old man who sexually abused her.

“They want to prevent this courageous girl from participating tonight,” said Georg Kindel, who founded the awards in 2004.

Northern Irish Nobel peace laureate Betty Williams, who came to Vienna to receive the World Achievement Award presented by Jordanian Queen Noor, said a demonstration should be organised in front of Yemen’s embassy in Vienna.

No one at the embassy was available to comment on Nasser’s failed trip.

Previous award winners include German model Claudia Schiffer, late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

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