The Saudi Arabia Human Rights Commission has stated that the marriage between a 70-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl has ended in divorce.
News of the separation began to surface on Wednesday, just days after outrage about the union spread across the globe. According to CNN, an investigator was sent to the girl’s home after receiving a complaint from the man. The husband claims she ran back to her family after he paid a substantial dowry for the girl.
Commission president Dr. Bandar Alaiban said that a meeting recently took place between the man, the girl, and her family. After things were hashed out between them, a divorce was reportedly granted.
Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights said:
“When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold. The girl’s parents need to be held responsible for this.”
The commission also discovered that the man’s age is probably closer to 86 than 70. At the time of the marriage the man said that he believed the girl was 25-years-old.
According to Jezebel, courts determined that the family had to return to $20,000 he paid prior to the marriage. However, the husband said he preferred to have his wife returned to him as opposed to getting his money back.
The man explained:
“I did not want the dowry money back, and I still want my wife to come home. I am going to take the case to a court this week to rule on the conspiracy by the family to take my money. My wife’s family have now taken her out to Riyadh so that I cannot reach her.”
There is presently no law in Saudi Arabia that dictates the minimum age for marriage. However, recent outcry over the 70-year-old man who divorced his 15-year-old bride could result in changes being made in the near future.