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Yemeni child bride dies of sex bleeding
Thu, Apr 08, 2010
AFP

SANAA - A 13-year-old Yemeni girl who had been forced into marriage died five days after her wedding when she suffered a rupture in her sex organs and haemorrhaging, a local right's organisation said Thursday.

Ilham Mahdi al-Assi died on Friday in al-Thawra hospital, in Hajja province north of the capital, the Shaqaeq Arab Forum for Human Rights said in a statement quoting a medical report.

She was wedded on Monday in a traditional arrangement known as "swap marriage" in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the groom, it said.

"The child Ilham has died as a martyr due to the abuse of children's lives in Yemen," the non-governmental organisation said.

Her death is a "flagrant example" of the results of opposing the ban on child marriage in Yemen, which is leading to "killing child females," it said.

The marriage of young girls is widespread in Yemen which has a strong tribal structure.

The death of a 12-year-old girl in childbirth in September illustrated the case of the country's "brides of death," many of whom are married off even before puberty.

Controversy has heightened in Yemen recently over a law banning child marriage in the impoverished country through setting a minimum age of 17 for women and 18 for men.

Thousands of conservative women demonstrated outside parliament last month answering a call by Islamist parties opposing the law.

A lesser number of women rallied at the same venue a few days later in support of the law, whose implementation is blocked pending a request by a group of MPs for a review, although it had passed last year in the chamber.

 

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