Fatima and Mansour

Fatima Case Verdict Opens Door to More Forced Divorces

Some time last year Fatima’s half-brother contended that Mansour had lied to the family about his tribal background so that the family would permit him to marry Fatima. Now, there is nothing, apparently, in the Islamic Law that restricts marriages along tribal grounds.

However, Fatima’s family went to court (without Fatima and Mansour it must be added) and had the pair forcibly divorced. Neither Fatima or Mansour wanted this and the pair have two children. However, they were divorced.

Fatima was then imprisoned last year (around October) as she had been living with Mansour without being married to him (remember, the family had them divorced). She is still in prison with one of her children, the other child being cared for by her father.

Fatima and Mansour appealed to the courts to have the divorce overturned and the marriage reinstated. The appeal court overturned that appeal and so, as Fatima refuses to return to her family (father, half-brother etc), she remains in prison.

Her father had given permission for her to marry Mansour and she was legally married, although as a result of the divorce, she was arrested for living with Mansour.

This is not the only case like this here. There is also the case of Rania Abou Al-Enin who is a physician and was married to Saud Al-Khaledi. Rania’s father filed a lawsuit to the court to have her divorced from Saud.

OK, so marriages sometimes fail but when they fail it should be the couple themselves who decide on the failure and the divorce, even here.

The only option open to Fatima and Mansour at the moment is to appeal to the King to order the Higher Court Council to review the case one more time, although there is still no guarantee that they will overturn the divorce.

Seems this time though that women from all over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been petitioning King Abdullah to intervene in the case. It does seem rather a disaster though when the family can ask the court to divorce a married couple, when the couple were married with the permission of the families in the first place. It seems a bigger disaster when the King has to be appealed to to have the whole thing looked at and reversed.

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