December 6, 2021

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The marriage of a 12-year-old girl is causing a stir

An Iraqi judge on Sunday adjourned a hearing to allow a 12-year-old girl to formalize her religious affiliation, a case that has caused a stir in the country, according to the mother’s lawyer.

The lawyer for Marwan Obedi, the mother of a 12-year-old girl, told a court near Baghdad that she could not “get married because of her young age”. The trial was adjourned to November 28e Obedi.

Legally, the age of marriage in Iraq is 18, but the exceptions are at age 15 with parental or judicial consent, says the voluntary charity Save the Children.

“Religious marriages are not allowed outside a certain framework” but this type of union is ongoing and can be regularized by paying fines, the NGO explained in a recent report.

Prior to the trial, a dozen activists from the Iraqi Feminist NGO demonstrated in front of the court, waving placards reading “Do not marry children” or “Marrying children is a crime against children.”

Victim of “rape”

“A 12-year-old girl is not of legal age to make such decisions that will determine her future,” criticizes the Organization for Women’s Liberation in Iraq (OWFI), which sometimes condemns the conduct of religious organizations. Nine.

The NGO calls for the repeal of Section 398 of the Criminal Code, which “allows sex workers to escape punishment if they marry a victim”.

The mother, who refuses to give her name, has no connection with her daughter Isra and accuses her ex-husband of abducting her. He promised that his daughter would be “raped”.

Early marriages are still practiced in Iraq, especially in conservative or rural settings.

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A department of the Interior Ministry, the “Iraqi Social Police”, which handles cases ranging from violence against women to online intimidation, met with the “woman, her father and her husband” in late October.

“He (the woman) promised to marry with her consent, without being forced by anyone,” the group said, referring to “seeing the religious (marriage) contract in which the minor was married.”