Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sad, Very Sad

Its late in the night.

For, errr, domestic reasons I am on my computer instead of wrapped round my lover's body. Yeah, I am missing bed. And his warmth...

But, well!

Came across this story on CNN. I appreciate the differences in our cultures, but sometimes I do feel that culture, like religion, is too often used to mask cruelty and unthinkingness on our part as human beings.

Read this below. If you are Saudi, and offended by this, my apologies. Yet, even when I do offer my apologies, and ackowledge the fact that ideals are not universal, there are some things which grate on my very soul. Read, and judge for yourself.

Saudi judge refuses to annul marriage of girl, 8

* Story Highlights

* Girl's father arranged her marriage to a 47-year-old to settle debts, lawyer says

* Lawyer: Girl's mother sought annulment, but judge ruled she isn't legal guardian

* Judge ruled girl may request divorce when she reaches puberty, lawyer says


(CNN) -- A Saudi judge recently refused to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man -- a union apparently arranged by the girl's father to settle his debts -- a lawyer in the case told CNN.


On Saturday, the judge, Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib, dismissed a petition brought by the girl's mother because she "is not the legal guardian of the girl," the woman's lawyer Abdullah al-Jutaili said.


"Therefore, she cannot represent her daughter in these proceedings," al-Jutaili said.


Her parents are separated, he said.


According to the lawyer, the girl's father arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man, who is "a close friend" of his.


The judge did ask for a pledge from the husband, who was in court, not to consummate the marriage until the girl reaches puberty, according to al-Jutaili.


The judge ruled that when the girl reaches puberty, she will have the right to request a divorce by filing a petition with the court, the lawyer said.


Christoph Wilcke, a Saudi Arabia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said his organization has heard many other cases of child marriages.


"We've been hearing about these types of cases once every four or five months because the Saudi public is now able to express this kind of anger, especially so when girls are traded off to older men," Wilcke said.


Zuhair al-Harithi, a spokesman for the Human Rights Commission, a Saudi government-run human rights group, said his organization is fighting against child marriages.



"The Human Rights Commission opposes child marriages in Saudi Arabia," al-Harithi said. "Child marriages violate international agreements that have been signed by Saudi Arabia and should not be allowed."


The spokesman said he did not have specific details about this case but his organization has been able to stop at least one other child marriage.


4 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Surely you found your way to bed...it´s almost morning (and hopefully forgiveness).

Leonardo in the darkness of early night.

StandTall-The Activist said...

This is trully sad! Even the court is ready to destroy the inoccent girl's life

This is why I challenge culture and traditions

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Yes. I reported this story too. Not only is it disturbing, but remember, this is a country where homos have been decapitated, but hetero pedophiles can marry little girls???!

'The Kingdom' can get away with anything and still remain a friend of the US, instead of the backward but oil-rich oppressive dictatorship that it is.

Humanity sucks.

Princess said...

WTF? :(

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