The 15-year-old girl forced to marry a 90-year-old Saudi man has obtained a divorce, after the Saudi Human Rights Commission provided her with legal assistance.
Digital Journal reported the young teenager was married off to the octogenarian in exchange for a dowry of $17,500. However, the girl did not consent to the marriage and spent two days locked in the bedroom to avoid the old man's advances.
When the frightened bride managed to flee the groom's house, he demanded either his dowry or his bride be returned, but the teenager refused to return. The marriage was not consummated.
The marriage was condemned by human rights groups. With the intervention of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) the girl has been able to divorce the man, Al Arabiya reported. Hadi al-Yami of the SHRC said the girl “expressed her rejection of this marriage" and a divorce was granted after a regional tribal chief and local dignitaries intervened.
The groom disputes that the divorce is legitimate as it was not pronounced by an official judge but a tribal leader, and maintains he wants his young bride back. However, it has been ruled that the dowry payment received by the girl's parents must be returned.
According to Gulf News the 90-year-old groom has a predilection for young girls. He married another 15-year-old around 18 months ago but she too fled the marriage and obtained a divorce. The octogenarian has explained that the reason he chose to take a second and third wife is that his wife is in her 80's "and it has been a long time since we lived as husband and wife."