Yemen: Eight year old girl wants divorce [Update divorce granted]

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.

PhotobucketNojoud 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.

PhotobucketThamer 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.

21 Responses to “Yemen: Eight year old girl wants divorce [Update divorce granted]”

  1. April 12, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    I want to cry.

    She’s one tough young lady. It seems as if this could not have happened to a more decent person with a better moral compass.

    Everything else I want to say is basically (*^&%&*^(*^&(%$$*^@((@(&@()&.

  2. April 12, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Hiyas Theo 🙂

    Isn’t she amazing! I am still blown away.

  3. 3 govz
    April 13, 2008 at 6:57 am

    I agree she is an amazing little spirit. But more importantly, I hope someday, there be a universal law for children. And protect them from such pains. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

  4. April 13, 2008 at 7:06 am

    I hope someday, there be a universal law for children. And protect them from such pains.

    I thought there was a universal human rights law. But sadly it does not apply to Islam…

    You are so welcome. Thank you for visiting. 🙂

  5. April 16, 2008 at 12:17 am

    She not only got a divorce, they did it in a way that the “husband” couldn’t sue to restart the “marriage.”

    Gah. Yet another person that challenges any attempt at charity–such as NOT hoping he’ll die horribly.

  6. 6 Helen
    April 16, 2008 at 5:55 am

    She is wonderful. But this really should not have been allowed to happen.

  7. April 16, 2008 at 6:22 am

    There is no way in hell little girls should ever be married to grown men! It is the 21st century! For the love of God there is no excuse! No excuse at all! No defense, no justification, no excuse!

    Islam: A cult of pedophilia, slavery and death.

  8. April 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    This is incredibly sad. Islam pretty much spits in the face of any human rights decrees made by the U.N. or anybody – which is why Islamic countries usually head the list of human rights violators. I agree that little girls should never, ever, ever have to face marriage to grown men. Institutional pedophila… makes me sick.

  9. April 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Nojoud has been granted a divorce. At least now she is free. God bless her little heart.

    I have just updated the post with news of her divorce.

  10. 10 Shawn
    May 19, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I found my way here looking for a news source on Nojoud, and I just want to point out that Islam itself does not necessarily condone pedophilia or rape.

    To say that some radical fundamentalist interpretation of laws that aren’t even in the Qu’ran, is the sum whole of the religion of Islam, is sensationalist and discriminatory. (this is in reference to comments on this post).

    Islam is a religion of peace. Simply because it has been abused and misinterpreted does not make it a bad religion anymore than Christianity should be seen as a bad religion because of the Crusades, or because priests have abused children.

  11. May 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Give me a break. Mo was a pedophile himself.

    Islam 101: A Lexicon For Dummies
    Submission to Allah is the only peace recognized in Islam.
    The deceptive ”Islam means Peace” is part of the Jihad.

    The Crusades were launched in retaliation against the Islamic invasions.
    Early Islamic Conquest

  12. 12 Barbie
    December 31, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    It breaks my heart to think of this baby having to go through that. She is a brave little girl. I just want to hug her. Her father and her “husband” should be locked away. This practice is sick and should be stopped!

  13. 13 bindy
    March 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    May G_d Bless this little child and I will pray for this brave and most beautiful little girl… you do not know me but want you to know that Iam thinking about you.

  14. 14 I got love
    July 3, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Please do not edit……. Lots of scams here and there, I thought only prayers could bring my man back but it didnt work,then I tried begging, it also didnt work, I even tried spells myself, it didnt work,until I saw something about a female spell caster, I tried her, maybe because she was a female like me ,so she would feel my pain..

    Anyways, she had no site, nothing to show, but I just followed my heart and thanks to God that I did that because,IT WORKED.

    ALL SHE HAD WAS A EMAIL ADDRESS priestessmiriam @ gmail. . com ..… all I can say is, the spell worked,my man came back…I am happy

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