Yemen: Report of Child Bride's Death Is False

Authorities say girl in question is fine

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 9, 2013 7:07 PM CDT | Updated Sep 10, 2013 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Yemeni officials say a shocking media report about a child bride dying from internal injuries sustained on her wedding night simply isn't true, reports the Huffington Post. The initial report about the 8-year-old girl's death went viral, but now a local police official tells Gulf News that it's false. "When I heard the rumors (of the girl's death), I called the girl’s father," he says. "He came with his daughter and denied the marriage and death of his daughter. I have the photos of the girl and will show it to anyone." A nonprofit volunteer group that protects children says its initial investigation also suggests that the "story was untrue."

However, the journalist who wrote the original piece—it said the girl's family married her off to a man in his 40s—is sticking by it, insisting that Yemeni officials are looking to deflect criticism. If such a marriage took place, it would not be against the law in Yemen. The country did pass a law in 2009 setting the minimum age for marriage at 17, HuffPo reports, but it was later overturned. A quarter of girls in Yemen are married off before the age of 15, reports Al Bawaba.

Yemeni women hold up the Quran and Arabic placard reading "yes to the legal rights of the Muslim woman" as they take part in a protest on child marriages.   (AP Photo)
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