Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Still a Long Ways to Go:

Saudi Arabia says it plans to start regulating the marriage of young girls, amid controversy over a union between a 60-year-old man and a girl of eight.

A court in Unaiza upheld the marriage on condition the groom does not have sex with her until she reaches puberty.

Justice Minister Muhammad Issa said his ministry wanted to put an end to the "arbitrary" way in which parents and guardians can marry off underage girls.
But he did not suggest the practice would be abolished.

Human-rights groups oppose such marriages, which they say are often motivated by poverty.

Saudi Arabia implements an austere form of Sunni Islam that bans free association between the sexes and gives fathers the right to wed their children to whomever they deem fit.

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