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Sudan court annuls marriage of 8-year-old girl

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

02.10.2014
Sudan court annuls marriage of 8-year-old girl

KHARTOUM

By Mohamed al-Khatem

A Sudanese court has annulled the marriage of an eight-year-old girl who had been wed to a man 40 years her senior, a local rights activist said Thursday.

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.  

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