http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=116187&d=10&m=11&y=2008&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom

            Monday 10 November 2008 (13 Dhul Qa`dah 1429) 
     

      Jizan man marries off daughter in mother's custody
      Laura Bashraheel | Arab News 
        
      JEDDAH: A Saudi mother filed a complaint with the Jizan police against 
her ex-husband for marrying off their 12-year-old daughter without the mother's 
knowledge.

      The woman who has the custody of her daughter claims that her child is 
too young to get married and the father did not inform her of his plans to 
marry the girl. 

      Maj. Ahmed Al-Wada'ani, official spokesman for Jizan police, told Arab 
News that after the woman filed the complaint police brought in the girl's 
father for questioning. 

      "The man simply asked his daughter whether she wanted to get married to a 
certain person or not, and he claims that she completely approved her 
marriage," said Al-Wada'ani. However, the case is being transferred to the 
Shariah court for a decision. 

      In a similar case this year the marriage of a 10-year-old girl to a 
60-year-old man was stopped after getting reports from medical centers in Hail 
that she and the old man failed a prenuptial compatibility blood test.

      After repeated incidents the Human Rights Commission has called on 
government agencies to take necessary steps to end the practice of child 
marriages by adopting a clear and unambiguous position on such weddings. 

      The conviction came in the wake of several cases across the Kingdom in 
which young girls have been married to elderly men, mainly for monetary reasons 
such as the settlement of debts or to receive generous dowries.

      There are no statistics to how many marriages involving children are 
performed each year in the Kingdom. It is also not clear whether these cases of 
child marriages are on the rise or whether people are hearing about them more 
now because of the prevalence of such cases in the media
     

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