Seyaj calls on the President of the Court of Appeal of Hajjah Governorate to intervene swiftly and decisively to rescue and provide justice to a 12-year-old (M.A.), a victim of kidnapping.

She is currently being tried before the Abs District Court of First Instance on charges of indecency. According to an indictment issued by the Public Prosecution Office, the girl “ran away with her consent.”

In a letter sent today to the President of Appeal, Judge Muhammad Ali Al-Juraidi, the organization said that the guardian of the victim was brought to another trial before the same court for attempting to marry off his daughter to one of the kidnappers.

According to the head of Seyaj organization, had it not been for Judge Majed Al-Harib’s rejection of the case, the victim’s rights, her family, and society would have been deeply wounded by the marriage contract.

The appeal clarified that the judicial authorities in the directorate did not investigate the incident as a crime of kidnapping, although the illegal removal of a minor from the custody of legal parents or guardians is considered kidnapping, whether by coercion or subterfuge.

The girl was not brought before a specialist medical committee to verify her virginity in case of abduction rape, although it is typical in rape cases for guardians to compel the victim to marry the kidnapper, as her father had tried.

Not all of the criminals implicated were detained, but one was taken into custody. Despite her guardians’ affirmations that they would safeguard her, the victim is currently kept in the custody of a tribal sheikh.

The organization summarized its appeals in the following points:

  • Immediately arrest, charge, and prosecute anyone involved in the crime, whether directly or indirectly, and carry out the punitive measures outlined in the prevailing national laws, specifically articles 2, 9, and 10 of the “Combating Kidnapping and Interruption Crimes” law No. 24 (1998) and article 249 of the “Crimes and Penalties” law No. 12 (1994) as amended by Republican Decree No. 16 (1995).
  • Present the victim to a medical committee.
  • Return the victim to her family after receiving assurances that no bodily or psychological damage will befall her.
  • Investigate the “flagrant conduct” charge and the extent to which it is in line with national legislation and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Issue a decision to all clerics not to draft marriage contracts for such cases, especially if the minor female was raped during the abduction.
  • Issue a decision to courts to brand anyone who traffics girls under the age of sixteen as a kidnapper, under the above-mentioned laws.

Given the unchecked damage that these behaviors and crimes inflict on the rights of young girls, the honor, and dignity of families, and public peace, these directives are set to safeguard young girls against predatory actions and pedophilic exploitation.

Issued by Seyaj Organization for Child Protection – February 24, 2019

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