Saudi urged to crack down on paternal oppression

Saudi Arabia’s main human rights group has urged the government to enact laws imposing heavy punishment against fathers who try to control their daughters and prevent them from marrying to serve their own interests, newspapers reported on Wednesday

The Commission for Human Rights (CHR) said it would push for a law involving a 15-year-old imprisonment of fathers who prevent their daughters from marrying and try to control their lives.

In a statement carried by the local media, CGR said such practices should be classified as a “serious human trade crime.”

“We are studying this issue from all its aspects and are working seriously to include it among the human trade crime that should involve jail terms of up to 15 years,” it said.

“We want all courts in the Kingdom to facilitate the work of lawyers defending these women to end oppression against them.”

The statement said CHR received 233 cases in 2010 involving paternal maltreatment of women, including 19 cases filed by women against their fathers for blocking their marriage.

It gave no details of those cases but Saudi courts handled some complaints last year filed by adult women against their fathers for preventing their marriage so they can continue to support them. Most of those cases were won by fathers.

“There is a massive abuse of the custody on daughters in the Kingdom…under Islam, fathers must not deprive their daughters from their right to marry or force marriage on them,” CHR Chairman Bandar Al Aiban said.

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