A 70-year-old man in Saudi Arabia married a 15-year-old girl after paying her parents a $20,000 dowry. CNN reports the deal was uncovered when the man complained to authorities that the family ripped him off by taking the girl back.
Human rights workers are investigating the case, as it is believed the young girl ran away back to her family after a fight with the older man. The mother of the girl is Saudi, and her father is believed to be Yemeni.
Human rights groups are campaigning for a minimum marrying age in Saudi Arabia, but religious extremists have balked.
“When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold,” says Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin, who is a member of the government-backed Saudi National Association for Human Rights. Dr. al-Abedin believes the child’s parents should be held responsible.
Noon Arabia, a prominent Yemeni activist tweeted, “#ChildMarriage is a violation of human rights http://www.humanrightsdefence.org/child-marriage-as-an-human-rights-issue.html #RunAwayBride #PTs”