Nojoud Muhammed Nasser’s father Nojoud Muhammed Nasser, threatened to beat her if she did not agree to a forced marriage to (30 year old) Faez Ali Thamer. After two months of beatings and molestation at the hands of her so called ‘husband’ pedophile captor, she ran away and notified the courts.
What a brave strong little girl. Eight years old and standing up for her rights as a legitimate human being. As opposed to being treated as chattel. Hopefully she will become a role model in the future. I wish her all the best.
For the first time in Yemen
8-year-old girl asks for divorce in court
By: Hamed Thabet
SANA’A, April 9 – An eight-year-old girl decided last week to go the Sana’a West Court to prosecute her father, who forced her to marry a 30-year-old man.
Nojoud Muhammed Nasser arrived at court by herself on Wednesday, April 2, looking for a judge to handle her case against her father, Muhammed Nasser, who forced her two months ago to marry Faez Ali Thamer, a man 22 years her senior. The child also asked for a divorce, accusing her husband of sexual and domestic abuse.
According to Yemeni law, Nojoud cannot prosecute, as she is underage. However, court judge Muhammed Al-Qathi heard her complaint and subsequently ordered the arrests of both her father and husband.
“My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn’t stop the marriage,” Nojoud Nasser told the Yemen Times. “I asked and begged my mother, father, and aunt to help me to get divorced. They answered, ‘We can do nothing. If you want you can go to court by yourself.’ So this is what I have done,” she said.
Nasser said that she was exposed to sexual abuse and domestic violence by her husband. “He used to do bad things to me, and I had no idea as to what a marriage is. I would run from one room to another in order to escape, but in the end he would catch me and beat me and then continued to do what he wanted. I cried so much but no one listened to me. One day I ran away from him and came to the court and talked to them.”
“Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him. This lasted for two months,” added Nasser. “He was too tough with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.”
Nasser’s uncle, who does not want to reveal his name, is following the case now as her guardian. According to her uncle, after Muhammed Nasser, the girl’s father, lost his job as a garbage truck driver in Hajjah, he became a beggar, and soon after suffered from mental problems.
Thamer is in jail now. “Yes I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me,” he said. “But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”
So far, no accusations have been made against her father, who was later released due to health problems, or Nasser’s husband, who will remain in jail for further investigation.
“So far there is no case and no charges, as Nojoud arrived by herself to court asking just for a divorce,“ said Shatha Ali Nasser, a lawyer in the Supreme Court who is following Nojoud Nasser’s story.
Shatha Ali Nasser confirmed that item number 15 in Yemeni civil law reads that “no girl or boy can get married before the age of 15.” However, this item was amended in 1998 so parents could make a contract of marriage between their children even if they are under the age of 15. But the husband cannot be intimate with her until she is ready or mature,” said Nasser.
“This law is highly dangerous because it brings an end to a young girl’s happiness and future fruitful life. Nojoud did not get married, but she was raped by a 30-year old man.”
Nasser confirmed that Nojoud Nasser’s case is not the first of its kind in Yemen, but it is the first time that a girl went to court by herself to ask for a divorce.
“We are not planning to return Nojoud to her family. Who knows? Maybe after a few years the same thing will happen to her again,” said Shatha Ali Nasser. “We are planning to put her in Dar Al-Rahama [an non-governmental organization that works with children], where she can have a better life and education. We do not want her family to pay her expenses, as they are poor.”
H/T Doctor Bulldog
8-year-old girl’s divorce is finalized while a law to prevent early marriage stalls
On April 15, with support from her lawyer Shatha Mohammed Nasser and Judge Abud Al-Khaleaq Ghowber, Nojoud paid her way out of marriage with YR 100,000 from an anonymous donor in the Emirates and happily became an 8-year-old divorcee.
“This was the first time a girl came to us for a divorce. We are going to do our best to push the parliament to change the marriage law,” said Judge Ghowber.
A divided society
The Yemeni personal status law stipulates that a girl cannot be wed until she is ready for intercourse, which in essence leaves the judgment up to the girl’s parents or guardians.
Judge Ghowber explained that early marriages are usually the fault of the parents. He insisted that there must be increased awareness among Yemeni families in order to avoid these serious mistakes.
A number of Yemeni religious scholars, including some in the Evaluation and Jurisprudence Committee in the Parliament, say that since there is no religious statement defining a minimum age for marriage, then early marriage is perfectly fine if not desirable.
Other scholars and religious authorities, like Judge Hamoud Al-Hitar, the Minister of Endowment, want to create legislation to prevent parents from marrying their girls off at a young age and to prevent religious sheikhs from endorsing such marriages.
“Those who approve of girls marrying at 13, 14 or even below 18, are barbaric men who abuse childhood and are irresponsible,” said religious scholar Yahiya Al-Najar, the former Minister of Endowment.
He explained that there should be a minimum age for boys and girls to marry in order to complete their physical and mental development and so that they can manage the so that they can manage the responsibilities of marriage and raising a family.
Al-Hitar said that the minimum age of marriage should be 16-years-old, no less. He added that previous religious bodies in charge of jurisprudence wrote such laws in 1976 and in 1988.
“Those who say that defining a minimum age for marriage is un-Islamic do not understand the religion at all,” said Al-Hitar. “Defining a minimum age of marriage is a need dedicated by life’s nature.”
The Yemeni parliament is equally divided between MPs who believe in safe motherhood (and thereby banning early marriage) and those who don’t. Deputy speaker of Parliament, MP Himyar Al-Ahmar, said that he supports the creation of legislation against early marriage, requested by the Women’s National Committee, but prefers to forward the issue to the Evaluation and Jurisprudence Committee, which is strongly against such legislation.
Rasheeda Al-Hamadani, chair of the Women’s National Committee, promised to continue to raise awareness about the issue by holding workshops soon with religious leaders, MPs and decision makers. Source.