Fatima and Mansour Again

Way back in February this year I wrote about Fatima and Mansour, the couple whose marriage was forcibly annulled by the court here after Fatima’s family complained about Mansour’s tribe (really, how many guardians does a woman have?).

It seems the interest that this has created in the press and the embarrassment this is causing to the Saudi establishment (like they needed any further help at social embarrassment, after all, they have the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice for first class embarrassment) has caused some folks to try and sweep it all under the carpet.

In another violation of a Saudi’s individual rights, as ensconced in the law here, someone is trying to gag Mansour. Ebtihal Mubarak reports in Forcibly Divorced Husband Made to Sign Gag Order in the Arab News, concerning the marriage:

a judge nullified Fatima’s marriage to Mansour Al-Timani on July 20, 2005 after her family intervened that the husband had lied about his tribal background. By the time the legal action against the couple was instigated by the wife’s half-brothers, the husband and wife were the parents of two children. The wife and younger child remain in a women’s shelter because she refuses to return to the custody of the men who intervened on her marriage, which has been sanctioned under Islam but apparently not on tribal grounds

It seems that  since then, Mansour was taken to a Police station late at night on the 2oth of June and forced to sign a “gag” order. Hussein Al-Sharif, a professor of Saudi law at King Abdul Aziz University, noted that

“If it’s a court (gag) order that states he can’t speak to the media, then it’s totally within their (the court’s) rights. But no other authority can play the role of the judge.”

He added that Al-Timani being called to the police center is OK if it follows legal procedures.

“But I wonder were there anyone from the Social Affairs Ministry, like a social worker, at the time of the arrest to provide care for the child?” he asked. “If not, then they also abused the child’s personal rights by taking her to the police station all of a sudden at night.”

All this because the woman’s brothers (half-brothers) didn’t like the tribe the groom belonged to and now it seems they are worried about their reputation.

On the strength of their efforts, I am sure that they would be taken without entrance examination into the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

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