Yemen child forced into marriage dies 
April 9, 2010 
SANAA: A 13-year-old Yemeni girl who had been forced into marriage died five 
days after her wedding when she suffered a rupture in her sex organs and 
haemorrhaging, a local human right's organisation said.

Ilham Mahdi al-Assi died last Friday in al-Thawra hospital in Hajja province, 
the Shaqaeq Arab Forum for Human Rights said in a statement quoting a medical 

She was married last week in a traditional arrangement known as ''swap 
marriage'' in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the 
groom, it said.

''The child Ilham has died as a martyr due to the abuse of children's lives in 
Yemen,'' the non-government organisation said.

Her death is a ''flagrant example'' of the results of opposing the ban on child 
marriage in Yemen, which is leading to ''killing child females'', it said.

The marriage of young girls is widespread in Yemen, which has a strong tribal 

The death of a 12-year-old girl in childbirth in September illustrated the case 
of the country's ''brides of death'', many of whom are married even before 

Controversy has heightened in Yemen recently over a law banning child marriage 
by setting a minimum age of 17 for women and 18 for men.

Thousands of women demonstrated outside parliament last month, answering a call 
by Islamist parties opposing the law.

Agence France-Presse

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