Man, 70, Divorces 15-Year Old After Human Rights Backlash

    January 10, 2013
    Amanda Crum

A 70-year old Saudi man who married a 15-year old has swiftly divorced her after Human Rights officials stepped in on the girl’s behalf.

The man claimed the girl had been given up by her parents in exchange for $20,000 but then ran away; investigators believe the two had a dispute and she went back to her parents’ home out of fear. The man claimed he was rightfully owed the girl, and that she was presented to him as a 25-year old. He married her earlier this week, much to the outrage of Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission.

“When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold,” Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin said. “The girl’s parents need to be held responsible for this.”

The Human Rights Commission offered the girl legal help should she desire to seek a divorce, and as of Wednesday the divorce was granted.