NAJRAN: A marriage official (mazoun) in the southern city of Najran has told a local Arabic daily that he had married a minor girl who is barely 12 years old and consummated their marriage after only two and a half months.
The mazoun, who has not been identified, told Al-Watan on Friday that his father in-law advised him not to touch her for a year, but his mother insisted otherwise.
He claimed that his mother, who was angry that he was treating his young wife like a sister, told him that there was no girl too young for marriage.
The mazoun told the newspaper that he brought his wife to his home and lived for two months together like a brother and sister.
"When my mother insisted I consummate my marriage, I had to summon up the courage for two weeks before I was able to have sex with her," he said. He said when he first saw her, he was shocked by her fragility and added that he spent a long time trying to understand how to treat her. "We used to be together without any sexual contact. She slept in the bedroom while I slept in the guest room. All the time I used to tell her the story of Adam and Eve. She often said to me that she did not know why her parents gave her away to me," he said.
The mazoun said his young wife has completed her sixth grade at elementary school and is now a better housewife than many university graduates.
Commenting on minor marriages, an official source at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) said the commission was making an effort to end this trend.
"If the marriage contract has not been signed, the commission will try to talk to the parties concerned, but if it is already signed, then it will question the mazoun who issued it," he said.
The official attributed the occurrence of minor marriages to a host of economic and social factors and said the commission was committed to tackling it.
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