5-YEAR-OLD-WIFE in Sudan
Sudan court annuls marriage of five-year-old girl
Khartoum - A court in the Sudanese capital's twin city of Omdurman has annulled the marriage of a girl wed at the age of five to a man in his 40s, a rights group said on Friday.
"The Omdurman north court, presided over by judge Nizar Ahmed Abdullah, on Thursday annulled the marriage of the girl, Ashjan Yousef," who is now eight, said Nahed Jabrallah, director of the Sima centre for women's and children's rights, who brought the case to trial.
The marriage was scrapped because Sudanese law does not allow the marriage of girls under the age of 10.
Jabrallah said the two families had agreed the union would not be consummated until the girl turned 15 but the man wanted it brought forward, at which point the centre was asked to intervene and take legal action.
Sudan often comes under strong criticism from human rights groups over its legislation allowing child marriages.
AFP 2014-10-04 12:13
Nahid Gabr Allah, head of the Seema Center for Women and Child Protection, which has taken up the girl's case, said that a personal affairs court in western Khartoum's Karary municipality on Thursday annulled a marriage contract – drawn up three years ago – between the eight-year-old and the older man.
The Seema Center took on the case of the girl – named Ashgan Youssef – at the request of her mother, who took her and fled last month after her husband had come to claim her, according to Gabr Allah.
The Sudanese government has not commented on Youssef's case. Her mother, however, is expected to hold a press conference in Khartoum later on Thursday to issue a statement.
Article 40 of Sudan's personal status law, which has been criticized by local rights groups, limits the minimum marriage age for women to ten.
By Mohamed al-Khatem