She entered the UAE on a housemaid visa and has been staying in the UAE
illegally for more than four months.
Women’s Groups Join Criticism against Wan Azizah over Child Marriage
and Jailed: Indonesian Girl's Plight Prompts Call to Legalize Abortion
Arabia Arrests 2 Women's Rights Activists: HRW
Umno Unite to Defend Muslim Women’s Modesty
Law Applies To Islamic Marriage, Judge Rules in Divorce Case
Hopes UAE Amnesty Will Allow Her to Attend Her Wedding
by New Age Islam News Bureau
to Raise Minimum Age for Marriage for Muslim Women
ALAM: Selangor plans to amend the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor)
Enactment 2003 on the minimum age for marriage for Muslim women in the state
which will be increased from 16 to 18 years.
Islamic Religious Council (Mais) chairman Mohammed Khusrin Munawi said the plan
was made after child marriages were reported to have become rampant of late,
including the marriage between an 11-year-old Thai girl with a 41-year-old
local man in southern Thailand which sparked widespread outcry recently.
said Mais, with cooperation from the state’s Shariah Judiciary Department and
Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had held an in-depth discussion with
experts from various departments and government agencies, especially medical
experts, academicians and non-governmental organisations, on July 19 and 20 to
find a solution to the problem.
a result, a consensus was reached to propose an amendment to the Islamic Family
Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, specifically to increase the minimum
age for marriage for Muslim women in the state from 16 to 18.
this amendment, the minimum age limit for marriage for Muslim men and women in
Selangor will be adjusted to 18,” he said in a statement here today.
said the proposal on the matter would be prepared and tabled to the State
Legislative Assembly as soon as possible.
JAYA: Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail continues to attract criticism from activists
over her perceived reluctance to take action against a 41-year-old man who
married an 11-year-old child, with a coalition of women’s groups urging swift
action to be taken to protect the girl, a Thai national who lives in Kelantan.
Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said it was time to act, urging
the government to conclude its lengthy investigations.
insistence on investigations which have gone on for over a month already
clearly reflects a lack of political will to take action against the man and
protect the 11-year-old child bride,” said JAG, which is made up of nine
women’s rights groups, including vocal Muslim group Sisters in Islam, and the
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).
comes after Wan Azizah, the deputy prime minister who is also in charge of the
Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, said there should be a “water
tight case” before action could be taken against the man.
activist Marina Mahathir has also added to the chorus of criticism against Wan
much more water tight evidence do we need?” she asked on Facebook. “This
41-year-old man has been interested in her since she was 7 and married her at
11… that’s all the evidence you need!”
marriage of Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid to Masaryu Mat Rashid has renewed a
debate on banning underage marriages in Malaysia, currently allowed with
special permission from shariah judges (for Muslims) and chief ministers (for
parents have given their blessing to the union despite condemnation by human
said the man not only had admitted his interest in the girl since she was
seven, which points to the offence of “sexual grooming”, but is also guilty of
falsifying his marriage certificate as well as violating shariah procedures.
‘marriage’ does not fulfil the Kelantanese Islamic Family Law Enactment 2002
Section 23,” it said.
second wife of the man has publicly shared that the man has not been able to
provide for their family, and has unfairly favoured his third ‘wife’ over his
previous wives,” the statement added.
today, Lawyers for Liberty told Wan Azizah that the case was not complex.
is no reasonable excuse for failing to enforce the provisions of the Sexual
Offences Act to the fullest extent in this shocking and obvious case,” said LFL
executive director Latheefa Koya.
which is made up of nine women’s rights groups, said it feared that the girl
remained “exposed to the man”, adding that she should be immediately separated
from him as he poses “a physical and emotional threat to her”.
coalition said swift action must be taken to ensure that the marriage would not
be legalised through manipulation.
marriages violate international instruments that have been ratified by
Malaysia, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Form of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the
Lumpur. Calls to decriminalize abortion grew louder in Indonesia on Wednesday
(01/08) after a teenage girl who was raped by her brother was jailed for six
months for terminating her pregnancy, sparking anger among activists who
demanded her immediate release.
15-year-old, from Jambi province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was
sentenced last month after a judge found her guilty of having an abortion,
according to rights groups including Amnesty International.
brother, 18, was jailed for two years for sexually assaulting a minor, while
their mother was arrested for assisting in an abortion, Amnesty International
Wahyuni, vice chairwoman of the government-backed National Commission on
Violence Against Women, called the girl's punishment a "gross
was raped and now jailed, it is a double injustice. All women must be given the
right to decide on abortion and not being subjected to any punishments,"
she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Jakarta on Wednesday.
is illegal in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, unless the
mother's life is at risk or it is performed under certain circumstances such as
procedure, however, must be carried out no later than six weeks into a
pregnancy, or the woman may face up to four years in jail. Those who assist in
carrying out an abortion can be sentenced to up to 10 years.
15-year-old was about six months pregnant, officials have said.
for decriminalization, Amnesty International said that denying a rape victim an
abortion violates her right to be free from torture or inhumane treatment.
has a legal obligation under international human rights law to ensure that
victims of rape or incest can have timely access to safe and legal
abortion," the group said in a statement.
children and women's rights groups on Monday lodged a complaint with
Indonesia's Judicial Commission, demanding that the verdict be reviewed and
accusing the judge of acting unethically.
judge should have taken into account the background of this case. She is
clearly a victim," said Genoveva Alicia from the Institute for Criminal
Justice Reform, a Jakarta-based non-profit and one of the groups that filed the
said that many women and girls, especially in rural areas, are unaware of their
pregnancy in the first six weeks. Criminalizing abortion forces some to seek
unsafe abortions, while others must marry, even if they are children, she
this case, the girl should not be serving her jail term now. What she needs is
support and counselling," Alicia said. "She must be freed."
Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers
humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change
Rights Watch says Saudi Arabia has arrested two prominent women's rights
activists in an "unprecedented" crackdown on opposition.
said in a statement on Wednesday that the Saudi authorities arrested
award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah earlier
are “the latest victims of an unprecedented government crackdown on the women’s
rights movement that began on May 15, 2018 and has resulted in the arrest of
more than a dozen activists,” the US-based rights group said.
Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said the arrests "signal that
the Saudi authorities see any peaceful dissent, whether past or present, as a
threat to their autocratic rule".
has campaigned for women’s rights and the rights of the minority Shia Muslims
in the kingdom’s Eastern Province for many years.
Badawi is also a vocal campaigner for rights activist Raif Badawi, her brother
and Saudi Arabia's top blogger, and her former husband Waleed Abu al-Khair, who
are serving lengthy prison sentences linked to their activism.
authorities have targeted and harassed Badawi for years. In addition to her
advocacy for women’s equality, she has campaigned energetically for both her
former husband and her brother to be released from prison," the statement
to the report, Amal al-Harbi, the wife of jailed civic rights activist Fowzan
al-Harbi, was also detained on July 30.
is unclear why Saudi authorities have targeted Al-Harbi,” the statement said.
May, a number of prominent women’s rights activists, including Loujain
al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Youssef, were arrested and still
remained in detention centers without charge and incommunicado with no access
to their families or lawyers.
of the detainees are prominent figures, who enjoy considerable respect among
the Saudi grassroots, including university professors and a psychotherapist.
authorities have so far labeled the detainees “traitors”, infuriating the
country’s rights activists who fear additional arrests amid much-hyped reports
of reforms led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
have been accompanied by a heavy-handed crackdown on dissent, which has
targeted clerics as well as some of the very female activists who campaigned
for years to end the driving ban.
leaders from both PAS and Umno teamed up to decry a lack of urgency by the
government in defending the rights of Muslim women to protect their modesty by
a joint press conference at the Parliament lobby today, PAS women’s head Siti
Zailah Mohd Yusoff and her Umno counterpart, Noraini Ahmad, said the rights of
conservative Muslim women were threated in the new government’s haste to adopt
a more liberal stance.
high court judge has decided that a couple’s Islamic marriage falls within the
scope of English matrimonial law, in a ruling that could have implications for
thousands of Muslims in the UK.
Akhter wanted to divorce Mohammed Shabaz Khan, her husband of 20 years, but he
blocked it, arguing that the couple were not married under English law.
and Khan underwent a religious marriage ceremony, known as a nikah, conducted
by an imam in 1998.
year Akhter, a solicitor, petitioned for divorce, saying the nikah constituted
a valid marriage. Khan, a businessman, wanted to prevent Akhtar from bringing a
case for a divorce settlement to court, and said they were married only under
sharia or Islamic law.
a written ruling, Mr Justice Williams, who heard the case in the family
division of the high court in London, concluded that the marriage fell within
the scope of the 1973 Matrimonial Causes Act.
said the marriage was void under section 11 of the act because it was “entered
into in disregard of certain requirements as to the formation of marriage. It
is therefore a void marriage and the wife is entitled to a decree of nullity.”
judge heard that the couple, both 46 and from a Pakistani background, lived in
London, Birmingham and Dubai.
said that after the nikah ceremony in front of 150 guests at a restaurant in
Southall, west London, she had seen Khan as her husband and he had “always
introduced me as his wife”.
cases involving nikah marriages have concluded that they were legally
non-existent, meaning spouses had no redress to the courts for a division of
matrimonial assets such as the family home and spouse’s pension if a marriage
Wright, a family law specialist at Hunters Solicitors, said the ruling had
“given heart to many who otherwise suffer discrimination”. She said it was
vital for Akhter that the “English divorce court rule in her favour, that the
marriage should be recognised as void and not a non-marriage. Otherwise she
would not have any rights to make any financial claims for herself.”
independent review of sharia councils recommended this year that Muslim couples
should undergo a civil marriage as well as a religious ceremony to give women
protection under the law.
review, instigated by Theresa May in 2016 when she was home secretary, found
that a significant number of Muslim couples did not register their marriages
under civil law, and “some Muslim women have no option of obtaining a civil
survey last November found that nearly all married Muslim women in the UK had
had a nikah and almost two-thirds had not had a separate civil ceremony.
Khan, a specialist in Islamic law, said last year: “My experience of 25 years
as a lawyer specialising in Islamic marriage and divorce is that this is not
only a major problem but a growing problem. My anecdotal evidence suggests that
in the last five years the proportion of people under 40 having nikah-only
marriages is as high as 80%.”
Maricar Peralta has her marriage fixed for August 5 in her hometown in the
Philippines. She was among the first to approach the Abu Dhabi centre of the
General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to avail of the amnesty
programme announced by the UAE government. Peralta entered the UAE on a
housemaid visa and has been staying in the UAE illegally for more than four
want to exit the country as early as possible. I have already booked my ticket
for tonight. My marriage is fixed on August 5, and I have to be home,"
said the single mother whose daughter is in Philippines.
were tears of relief, happiness and confusion on the first day of Amnesty as
hundreds of residents thronged the immigration centre at Shahama in Abu Dhabi
to rectify their visa status.
morning 8am onwards, there was a steady stream of people - pregnant women,
young mothers, families, old men on wheelchairs - of all nationalities who took
their seat inside the air-conditioned tent set up at the Immigration centre's
compound on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city.
of taxis and special buses brought people in hordes while many expats took
public buses to reach the centre to avail of the three-month amnesty declared
by the government.
expat Shafat said he came to the centre at 7.30am.
wanted to beat the queue," said Shafat, whose visa expired four years ago.
"I no more want to live in this country as an illegal. I have been doing
odd jobs but there was always the risk of getting arrested. Amnesty is a chance
for people like me to return home safely," said Shafat.
old wheelchair-bound Zahir Janan was brought to the amnesty centre by his
nephew, who is working in Abu Dhabi.
want to go home now and be with my family," said Janan, who was working as
a carpenter. He said his visa expired two years ago.
first day of amnesty was also marked with some confusion on how people falling
under different violations and visa status could apply for amnesty.
Delaceina, a Filipna expat, and her three friends were waiting outside the gate
not sure how to proceed.
of us want to apply for a six-month jobseeker residency permit and stay in the
UAE. We are hopeful of finding a job. But we do not know what exactly are the
proceedings," said Delaceina.
Immigration officials could be seen mingling with people, giving instructions
and guiding them to different counters.
who have Emirates IDs and passports, please go to the typing centre and fill up
the application paper. Then come back. Others please sit down," Sultan Ali
Qubaisi, an immigration official, told the crowd waiting inside the tent.
of bottled water were also stacked up in the tent, and by midday, an official
was distributing the water to the waiting crowd.
Saeed Salam Al Shamsi, director of the GDRFA in Abu Dhabi who visited the tent
in the morning, said the response on the first day was 'positive.'
do not know the exact number of people who will turn up on the first day. But
looking at the volume of people who has come in, It looks positive," Al
Shamsi told the media.
the procedure to apply for amnesty, Al Shamsi said those who have their
Emirates ID should first go to a typing centre and fill up the application and
submit it at the immigration for applying for exit pass. Once application is
submitted, it will take up to two days to get the exit pass.
who do not have valid documents should first proceed to take their biometrics
and then get the application typed," said the official.
who want to apply for a six-month temporary visa can also straight come to the
immigration centre in Shahama.
other two amnesty centres in Abu Dhabi are located in Al Ain and Al Garbia.
who wish to apply for jobs should register themselves in the 'virtual job souq'
on the website of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization and find a
is the Year of Zayed and we are pleased to be helping people with visa issues
and those who want to legalise their status," said the officer.
are well-prepared and ready to handle all illegal residents who will come to
said the amnesty registration centre will operate from Sunday to Monday, from
8am to 8pm and will handle all kinds of cases related to residency violation.
illegal residents should come forward and make use of this amnesty initiative
to rectify their status or leave the country without facing legal
prosecution," said Al Shamsi.
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