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Last updated: 12:01:24 AM GMT(+03) Monday, 22, July, 2013
 
 

"Early marriage fears of Nada Al-Ahdal are fabricated" says her parents, interior ministry officials, and prominent child rights NGO

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 Yemen Post Staff

By Shaher Abdulhak Saleh

Earlier this week local and foreign media picked up on their radar the incredible story of a young Yemeni school girl, Nada al-Ahdal, as 11-years-old who claims to have fled her parental residence by fear of being forcibly married to a much older man, as per arranged by her father an mother.
Only Nada's claims are fabrications, according to her parents and prominent rights NGO Siyaj.
Unsatisfied with Nada's account of events, her serious claims and allegations, the Yemen Post investigative team went to work, only to discover that the child had been coerced into making video, her testimony scripted by her uncle and her tale a web of lies.
Both Siyaj Child Rights organization, and Yemen interior ministry have officially flagged Nada's video as not concrete or enough evidence of what she is claiming. "Nada heard rumors from others that her parents were going to get her married. She never heard it from her father or mother and she built her claims on this," said Ahmed Al-Qershi, President of Siyaj.
Nada's family told the Yemen Post there was never a marriage to be have as Nada was neither engaged nor promised to anyone due to her young age.
Moreover, Nada has been living with her uncle for the past 18 months, thus never actually ran way. It is important to note that while Nada has been living under her uncle's care, the latter does not have legal custody.
It appears that the media were too blindsided by Nada's frank and open demeanor to ever question her motives, her allegations and basic facts.
Just as Nujood Ali's divorce caught the imagination of Western media back in 2008 when from the height of her 8 years she asked a judge to grant her a divorce, Nada's video testimony is fast becoming the cornerstone of rights activists' anti-child marriage campaign, as it relaunched and fueled anew the old polemic, secular versus religious rhetorics.
The eloquent and precocious young girl, boldly alleged that her parents threatened to kill her should she defy their wishes and fail to wed the man they had chosen for her. She went on decrying such "criminal" behaviour stressing that if it hadn't been for the support of her uncle she would have ended yet another statistic on Yemen's child marriage board of shame.
While child marriage remains an issue to be debated Nada' story should not and cannot be in any way, shape or form be associated to other cases of abuse or forces marriages as her tale carries no true substance.

 

 

 

 


YEMEN POST STAFF
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Source: Yemen Post Newspaper
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