Dead Yemeni Child Bride Was Tied Up, Raped: Mom

Tragedy underscores girls being forced into marriage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 10, 2010 9:48 AM CDT
Dead Yemeni Child Bride Was Tied Up, Raped: Mom
Nujood Ali, a 10-year-old Yemeni girl, and her lawyer Shada Nasser leave the stage after being honored at the Glamour Women of the Year awards, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

A 13-year-old Yemeni child bride who bled to death shortly after marriage was tied down by her 23-year-old husband and repeatedly forced to have sex, according to the child's mother, police, and medical reports. Nijma Ahmed, who had tried to persuade her daughter to have sex with her husband so as not to shame the family, said that before Elham Assi lost consciousness and died, "She looked like she was butchered."

According to police, husband Abed al-Hikmi, upset because he could not consummate their relationship, sought tranquilizers from a local clinic so she wouldn't resist. When refused, Hikmi obtained performance-enhancing pills and the next day, returned to the clinic carrying Assi because she could not walk. A forensic report showed that Assi's injuries were much more extensive, including extensive tearing around the vagina and rectum. "She whispered in my ear that he had tied her up and had sex with her violently," said Assi's mother. "I said to her husband, what have you done, you criminal?" (Read more Yemen stories.)

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