Girl, 14, and student, 17, ditch school and get married with parents’ blessing
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A 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old student dropped out of school and got married after getting their parents’ blessing.
The children, from separate villages in China’s southern Guandong province, met online and wed on November 26 this year, foreign media reports.
While they didn’t apply for a marriage certificate, the ceremony was carried out in line with local customs.
A video emerged of the children having a “wedding reception” and eating on a table decorated with red candles, What’s on Weibo reports.
In the footage, a woman encourages the pair to eat more.
The parents involved reportedly had a “weak understanding of the legal system”.
The boy’s grandparents helped with the wedding preparation, it is claimed.
During a recorded interview, the grandmother said: “We didn’t know it was against the law. We’re both old, and we didn’t know.”
The girl is now living with her family again and will return to school.
Back in October, a 13-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped by a 44-year-old Muslim man in Pakistan who forced her to convert to Islam and marry him.
Arzoo Raja was reportedly taken from her home in Karachi on October 13, and two days later her “husband” Ali Azhar produced a marriage certificate saying she was 18 and had converted to his religion.
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The case has led to protests in Karachi and Lahore, but a Pakistani court initially upheld the marriage after her husband claimed she had converted of her own free will.
It is alleged Arzoo tried to run to her mum during the court hearing but Azhar held her in a tight grip to stop her from leaving.
Her dad said that his daughter had been abducted from the family home after her parents went to work.
When police contacted the family two days later they said that Azhar had already obtained a marriage certificate, according to a Christian group called the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS).
A court later ruled that she should remain a government shelter home until she turns 18.
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On November 9, the High Court in the province of Sindh declared that Arzoo was a minor and that her marriage to Azhar violated the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, according to NHO International Christian Concern.
Criminal charges against Azhar were dismissed.
However, Jibran Nasir, the family’s attorney, told the Morning Star News: “ I believe it is a good verdict, because the court has not quashed the FIR (first information request) registered by Arzoo’s father and statutory rape of a minor has been added to it, a crime punishable with life imprisonment or death sentence.”
He added: “Please understand that Arzoo is reluctant to live with her parents because of the consistent brainwashing done by the accused and certain community activists for ulterior motives.”
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