January 23, 2019

Germany to Fine Imams Officiating Child Marriages

Ministry also considering banning child marriages

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Germany is proposing to fine imams found officiating marriages of people under the age of 16 reports RT. Imams will be charged of fines up to $1100.

The German Interior Ministry is also looking to ban child marriages. Under existing law, the legal marrying age is 18 but 16 year olds can also obtain marriage licenses under special request provided the person they’re marrying is 18 years and above.

Justice Minister, Heiko Maas is hesitant on the issue and believes that the law should be dependent on individual cases. He also said that for refugees, not all child marriages should be automatically annulled because there could be reasons for exception based on child welfare.

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Many politicians and human rights’ activists oppose Maas’ stand. Stephan Harbarth, the head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction in the German parliament, told Die Welt, a German news outlet,  “It is high time we introduced a clear ban on child marriages-there should be no child marriages in Germany as well as no legal ‘grey zone’ for them.

He added, “We need a clear age limit of 18 years for marriage in Germany. A child’s welfare should always prevail over protection of marriage,” and insisted that it is not in any child’s interests to stay married to a 30 year old spouse.”

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