Image: With 370 days and 23 hours left in his reign, George Bush worked on improving Mideast relations — by warmly greeting Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud – tmz
A Saudi Arabian judge has refused to overturn a ruling that declared the arranged marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man legal a relative says. The judge Sheikh Habib Habib ruled for the second time Saturday in Onaiza that the girl s marriage to a friend of her father s was legal and binding. He said the child wife could file for divorce once she reached puberty CNN reported. An unnamed relative of the girl told the broadcaster that Habib who first refused to annul the marriage last year reconsidered the case upon the girl s mother s appeal. The mother s attorney Abdullah Jutaili said the girl s father arranged the marriage with his “close friend” to pay off a monetary debt. The relative said the girl s mother who is divorced from the father will continue to seek to overturn the marriage. An appeals court in Riyadh will reportedly consider the case again in a hearing set for next month. Zuhair Harithi of the Saudi Human Rights Commission told CNN child marriages in the country must be fought saying they “violate international agreements that have been signed by Saudi Arabia and should not be allowed.”
The Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has launched a campaign to set a minimum age for marriage in the kingdom. The SHRC began its campaign following several high profile trials, where young girls, sometimes less than 10 years old, were married off to men above the age of 50 and even 70. … For many in Saudi Arabia, the custom of marrying off young girls to older men does not seem immoral. Poor families find this a profitable bargain, as they receive high bridal fees from the old groom. Such marriages often take place during the summer holidays, when rich men marry young girls and then divorce them when the holiday is over, al-Arab reports. Experts estimate that hundreds of young girls undergo such forced temporary marriages.
via Ending child marriage in Saudi Arabia | jpost.com
Call it what you will, this is child prostitution. Obama, will you stand up and say to our “friends” that this must stop? Saudi Arabia, “a key strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East–as the world’s largest oil exporter, as host for some of the most sophisticated military bases available to the U.S. in the region” has been a dark place for human rights for many years.