International Family Lore Day

As this seems to be 'International Family Law Day' here on Family Lore, I thought I would mention three other stories with an international element:

I shall start with another example of what our young men and women are fighting for in Afghanistan. The New York Times amongst others reports the case of two Afghan girls aged 13 and 14 who fled their homes to escape their illegal, forced marriages to much older men. Found by the police, they thought they had reached safety, only to be sent back to their village where they were "publicly and viciously flogged for daring to run away from their husbands". The flogging was videoed, presumably for the later delectation of their tormentors, who included a former warlord, now a 'pro-government figure'.

Meanwhile, in China a man has shot dead three judges, apparently in an act of revenge over a ruling made in a property dispute three years ago during his divorce proceedings. Zhu Jun, the head of security at the Lingling district post office in Yongzhou in Hunan province, took an automatic weapon and two pistols into the unnamed court in central China (where security must be somewhat lax), fatally shot the three judges and wounded three others, before turning the gun on himself. Unfortunately, his 'revenge' was flawed, as none of the three judges had been involved in his divorce case.

Lastly, the Telegraph reports the depressing news for lonely British males that in future they will have to pay a £38,000 'deposit' for their Indonesian brides. The new law, which is being tabled by the Indonesian religious affairs ministry, "is designed to ensure Muslim Indonesian women are financially secure in case of divorce and to prevent foreigners entering convenience marriages to set up businesses or buy property". If the couple divorce within ten years, the wife gets the £38,000, but if the marriage lasts more than ten years, the money becomes shared property. The Telegraph tells us that Asian women are "biddable, beautiful and beddable", according to the nauseating blurb of UK dating agencies, but whether many men will be prepared to fork out £38,000 for such delights remains to be seen.