Footage has emerged showing a 10 – year-old girl being forced to marry her 22 – year-old cousin in Iran.
There has been widespread condemnation of the marriage and the practice of child brides which remains in common in impoverished areas of the oil-rich country.
In the video a mullah says the groom will pay the traditional “mahr” or dowry for his bride’s hand of 14 gold coins and 50 million tomans, the local currency, equivalent to a tota l of £ 7200,France 24 reports.
He asks the girl, who is reported to be his cousin: “Fatima, do you agree to marry Milad Jashani?” To which she replies: “With my parents’ permission, yes. “
The groom says “Yes, I do”, and they become man and wife as their families applaud and cheer and the newlyweds smile.
The video was posted on social media and state TV also covered the story, which has led to outrage and the marriage being annulled by the authorities.
The exact age of the girl in the footage has not been confirmed with some outlets saying she could be nine or 11.
Since the annulment the family have told the media they will try to remarry the couple.
In Iran, girls can marry age at 13 with parental consent – but girls younger than that can be married with permission from a judge
According to Amnesty International, some 17 per cent of girls in Iran are married before the age of 18.
Spokesperson Mansoureh Mills said: “Girls are normally expected to live with their husbands.
“Iranian law entitles men to engage in sexual conduct with their wife, regardless of her age, without her consent. In order words, men are allowed to rape their child wives. ”
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The authorities in the province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad announced that the marriage between the child and the man has been annulled.
The provincial prosecutor, Hassan Negin Taji, said indictments have been issued against the groom, the child’s family and the cleric who conducted the ceremony, (Rfel reports.
) **** (The marriage violated) ************************************ (Article) of Iran family law, which states man who marries a girl who has not reached the legal age is liable to six months to two years in prison .