Via AFP via Google News:
RIYADH — A 12-year-old Saudi girl unexpectedly gave up her petition for divorce from an 80-year-old man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry, Saudi media reported Tuesday.
Despite support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, the girl and her mother, who originally sought the divorce, withdrew the case Monday in a court in Buraidah, in Al-Qasim province, newspapers said.
The girl told the court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement, according to Okaz newspaper. “I agree to the marriage. I have no objection. This is in filial respect to my father and obedience to his wish,” she said.
Saleh al-Dabibi, a lawyer supplied by a charity group to help the girl, said her mother did not inform him of the change of heart, Okaz said.
An unnamed official of the government’s Human Rights Commission, which was originally asked by the mother to help in getting the marriage annulled, told Arab News they too were surprised by the mother and daughter dropping the case.
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