Riyadh: Arab News
Saudi women have filed 383 cases against their guardians for denying them the right to marriage, local media has said quoting data released by the Ministry of Justice. Riyadh registered the highest number of “adhl” cases Kingdomwide, with 95 cases, followed by Jeddah, which recorded 81 cases, Makkah 65 cases, Dammam 31 cases and Madinah 20 cases. However, many of these cases never made it to court thanks to Saudi social norms, said the report. Al-Ahsa and Abha, meanwhile, each registered 10 cases, Taif nine cases, Qatif eight cases, Buraidah and Alkhobar seven each, Tabuk and Al-Kharj five each, Skaka, Hail, Onaizah and Jazan four each, Khamis Mushayt and Sibya three each, Yanbu and Ras Al-Khair two each, and Najran, Jubail, Dirriyah and Arar one case each, the report said. The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has included “adhl” cases within the list of human trafficking issues. The society called for the imposition of penalties on those who are found guilty of denying their daughters marriage. Offenders could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and fined SR1 million in accordance with a decision issued in November 2011, said the daily. Meanwhile, Khalid Al-Mutairi, a lawyer, said any girl has the right to file a case in accordance with Islamic law and other provisions. The lawyer attributed the emergence of “adhl” to several factors, including guardians’ desire to have full control over the decisions of their daughters, for financial reasons or as a form of revenge against their divorcees, the paper said.