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Saudi gets extra prison time for marrying Egyptian minor
By Ahmad Al-Attawi
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 16 - 09 - 2010

The Egyptian authorities have extended the prison term of a Saudi man in his thirties, identified only as H.A., to an extra 15 days for an ‘Urfi marriage to a minor Egyptian girl.
The bride's father and middleman were also jailed while the authorities are still looking for the lawyer who concluded the marriage contract.
The Egyptian police have released the bridegroom's mother on 5,000 Egyptian pounds bail after an intervention by a lawyer from the Kingdom's embassy in Cairo. She and her young children have been provided accommodation at a hotel at the expense of the embassy.
H.A. had traveled to Egypt accompanied by his mother and young brothers for his ‘Urfi marriage. The family intended to hold an official marriage after obtaining approval from the authorities in the Kingdom.
The man's mother paid 20,000 Egyptian pounds to the family of the bride but was surprised when the father refused to bring his daughter after receiving the money. She then filed a complaint accusing the bride's family of cheating and swindling.
Ibrahim Al-Humaid, Head of the Consular Department for Saudi Citizens' Affairs at the Kingdom's embassy in Cairo, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the embassy was informed by the Egyptian security authorities that a Saudi national had married a minor Egyptian girl. Following the report, two lawyers of the embassy were sent to the Egyptian Attorney General's Office to get acquainted with the details of the case.
“We agreed to pay 5,000 Egyptian pounds bail for the bridegroom's mother and young sons to get their release from prison. She was then provided accommodation at one of the hotels until her situation, and that of her son, is dealt with,” said Al-Humaid.
Al-Humaid said the embassy had earlier issued warnings to Saudi nationals about the legal penalties of ‘Urfi marriages to underaged girls. “This is a very sensitive issue with the Egyptian authorities because the law considers it a crime of human trafficking. Perpetrators and accomplices are punished by imprisonment for a period exceeding five years and a fine of 50,000 Egyptian pounds.”
Al-Humaid warned against ‘Urfi, tourist and Misfar marriages, which Saudi men are being lured into by marriage brokers. “The Egyptian judiciary issues prison sentences exceeding five years for any man who marries a minor (under 18 years of age) even if the marriage takes place with the consent of the family of the underaged girl.”
Al-Humaid said some marriage brokers and families of underaged girls make the girls older by forging their ages. This is to convince the tourist to marry the girl. This is a violation of the law, he said.
He added there are over 30 employees working round-the-clock at the Saudi Citizens' Affairs Department at the embassy. They serve Saudi citizens and are open to receive complaints at any time. He said the telephone numbers of the embassy are available everywhere. These numbers are provided to Saudi nationals on their mobile telephones when they arrive in Egypt. The embassy calls on them to visit the Department and register their passports, addresses and telephone numbers so that they can be contacted in case of any emergency.


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