04 February 2005, 23:37

Human rights activists protest against early marriages

In her interview with the Caucasian Knot correspondent, human rights activist Leyla Yunus stated that the country's authorities must draw attention to the fact that early marriages have become more frequent in Azerbaijan recently. "It's inadmissible that 12-13-year-old girls are given in marriage and the authorities and public remain indifferent to such cases," Ms Yunus said. She noted that such marriages are usually contracted under Shariat laws and mainly without the minors' consent. "If we live in a secular country, such cases are inadmissible. They entail violence in the family and cases of child mortality," the human rights activist resumed. Members of the Azerbaijan Islamic Party have an opposite opinion. They believe that early marriages are absolutely legal if the children's parents give their consent to it. "These marriages are regulated by the Islamic (Shariat) law, which allows girls and boys to marry when they are 12 under Shariat norms," members of the party explained. Azerbaijan's laws allow people to marry only when they are 18.

Author: Zaur Rasulzade, CK correspondent;

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