Thursday, March 15, 2012

Swedish Court Denies Legality of Sharia Minor Marriage

Not in Sweden    (photo: UNICEF)
In a refreshing turn of events, the Local reports that a Swedish court overturned a previous decision to accept as legal the marriage of an immigrant woman who was underage at the time of the marriage. The unnamed woman was married in Hebron in the West Bank before she was 18. A 2004 Swedish law strikes down the legality of marriages contracted abroad by minors. It's a sign that the law designed to prevent child marriage has some teeth:

A Swedish court has ruled that a 17-year-old girl's marriage by a Sharia court in the West Bank is invalid in Sweden, overturning a lower court's decision.

The girl, who is now 19-years-old, was married in June 2010 in a Sharia court located in the West Bank town of Hebron, ten days before her 18th birthday, according to Swedish court documents.

When she and her husband moved to Sweden they sought to have their marriage registered with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

But the agency denied the couple's application, arguing the marriage couldn't be registered in Sweden because the woman hadn't turned 18 at the time of the wedding.

In 2004, a change to Swedish law meant to prevent child marriages made marriage under the age of 18 illegal, even if the marriage was entered into abroad. 

Full story here.


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