Man, 70, Marries 15-Year-Old Girl For $20,000; Teen Runs Away

By Melissa Siegel on January 8, 2013 3:05 PM EST

Wedding ring
Another teen bride has run away from her elderly husband. (Photo: Flickr / firemedic58)

A man, 70, has married a 15-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia.

CNN reports that the 15-year-old was sold to the man for the American equivalent of $20,000. However, the family has now taken their daughter back, prompting a complaint from her new husband.

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The girl reportedly fought with her 70-year-old husband and then ran back to her family.

This man, 70, who married a 15-year-old girl is sadly not the first case of an older man marrying a child. Back in August, a 40-year-old made headlines for his marriage to an 11-year-old girl in Afghanistan. CNN reports that she is one of 51 million child brides around the world.

More recently, a 90-year-old in Saudi Arabia married a teen bride who locked herself in her room on their wedding night and fled back home two days later. Al Arabiya News reports that the man is now demanding the return of his bride or his money.

Many people have taken to Twitter to protest this 70-year-old man marrying a 15-year-old girl. For instance, Kareem Bassem wrote, "#ChildMarriage is a result of dehumanizing female humans and degrading them to 'treats' in alleged paradise. Fight dehumanization!"

These cases have particularly struck a nerve for human rights activists. Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin, from the Saudi National Association for Human Rights was one of many who spoke out against the case.

"When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold," Abedin said. "The girl's parents need to be held responsible for this."

Meanwhile, Egyptian activist Mona Eltahawy tweeted, "It's only when there's enough public outrage that we can fight #childmarriage. We are not angry enough to help that 15 y/o & others like her."

Another activist, NoonArabia, joined the others in their outrage.

#ChildMarriage is a violation of human rights," she tweeted.

The Human Rights Commission is already investigating the case and plans to try to help the 15-year-old girl legally divorce her 70-year-old husband. The HRC believes that those younger than 18 should need permission from a court in order to marry.

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