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2 ‘adhl' cases reach courts on an average each day
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 02 - 2016

JEDDAH — Civil courts across the Kingdom received 128 lawsuits filed by women against their parents in the past three months for preventing them from marriage.
This means at least two such cases reach the court every day and highlights the magnitude of injustice perpetrated against women by close family members.
"The number of ‘adhl' (marriage prevention) cases studied by Saudi courts increased in the first quarter of this Hijri year (1437)," the Justice Ministry said in a report, while stressing that many of such cases do reach court because of social taboos in Saudi society.
"During the first three months of this Hijri year, courts received 128 lawsuits from women who accused their parents and guardians of blocking their marriages with suitable grooms citing various excuses," Al-Madina Arabic daily reported quoting a ministry official.
The lawsuits were received by 10 courts across the Kingdom with the general court in Makkah receiving the largest number of cases (45), followed by Riyadh (28), Eastern Province (24), Madinah (13), Qassim (7), Asir (5), Tabuk and Hail two cases each, and Jazan and Baha one each, the newspaper said.
Lawyer Dr. Ibrahim Al-Abadi, a legal consultant and a former member of the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution, described adhl as a Shariah term. "It means preventing a woman by her parents or guardians from marrying a suitable groom despite the couple's desire to go ahead with the marriage," he said.
"I have noticed that the number of adhl cases being filed at Saudi courts is on the increase, compared to the past because of greater awareness among about their rights," he said.
Al-Abadi said the issuance of a number of new laws has contributed to safeguarding women's rights and preventing arbitrary decisions of their guardians.
"Women in the past were not aware that they can approach courts to retrieve their rights usurped by their male guardians including parents and brothers and that the courts can delegate someone to sanction their marriage," he pointed out.
Al-Abadi described adhl as one of the worst injustices committed against women because guardians arbitrarily prevent them from getting married.
"I am happy that the Justice Ministry is keen on dealing with such cases and has issued a number of regulations to protect women's rights including the right to abrogate the guardianship of people who do injustice to them," he explained.
Article 33 of the Legal Proceedings Law allows civil courts to look into cases of women who do not have a guardian to marry them or cases of guardians who prevent them from getting married, said the lawyer.

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