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Black News: Saudi Judge Refuses to Annul Marriage Btw 8 Year Old and 47 Year old Man

by on April 14, 2009

A Saudi judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man, a relative of the girl told CNN.

The most recent ruling, in which the judge upheld his original verdict, was handed down Saturday in the Saudi city of Onaiza, where late last year the same judge rejected a petition from the girl’s mother, who was seeking a divorce for her daughter.

The relative said the judge, Sheikh Habib Al-Habib, "stuck by his earlier verdict and insisted that the girl could petition the court for a divorce once she reached puberty." The family member, who requested anonymity, added that the mother will continue to pursue a divorce for her daughter.

The case, which has drawn criticism from local and international rights groups, came to light in December when al-Habib declined to annul the marriage on a legal technicality. The judge ruled the girl’s mother — who is separated from the girl’s father — was not the girl’s legal guardian and therefore could not represent her in court, according to Abdullah al-Jutaili, the mother’s lawyer.

 

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