A local newspaper said the husband, who denies he is 80 in spite of claims by the girl’s family, accused the aunt of meddling in his affairs. “My marriage is not against Shariah. It included the elements of acceptance and response by the father of the bride,” he said.
He added that he had been engaged to his wife’s elder sister and that this broke off as she wanted to continue with her education. “In light of this, her father offered his younger daughter. I was allowed to have a look at her according to Shariah and found her acceptable,” he said.
Maatouq Al-Abdullah, a member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), said there is no system in place regulating the marriage of young girls, something that he said results in adverse psychological, health and social effects.
“Such marriages are considered a gross violation of charters on the rights of children, which the Kingdom has signed and which set the age of adulthood at 18,” he added.