Religion

70-Year-Old Man Marries 15-Year-Old Girl

| by Michael Allen

An unidentified 70-year-old man in Saudi Arabia has married a 15-year-old girl whom he thought was 25 years old.

The senior told CNN her family has ripped him off for $20,000, which he paid to marry the girl: "She is not 15 as everybody claims. She's 25 years old and she's mature enough to make her own decisions... I was fooled by the girl's family."

In Saudi Arabia, there is no law that requires a minimum age for marriage, reports CNN.

Dr. Hadi Al-Yami, head of the Asir branch of the Human Rights Commission, told CNN that the teen is from Al-Hurath village in Jizan province, in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

The Human Rights Commission sent an investigator to the courthouse in Al-Hurath and is planning to offer the girl legal help to dispute the marriage.

Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin, of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights, said: "When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold. The girl's parents need to be held responsible for this."

Extremely conservative religious Saudi scholars oppose laws that would govern the age to marry.