Couple arrested  for forcing 12-year-old into marriage

A couple in Spain allegedly sold their 12-year-old daughter into a forced marriage for 3,000 euros (3,250 dollars).

The mother and stepfather were arrested in mid-February in the town of Malagón, about 150 kilometres south of Madrid, state broadcaster RTVE reported on Tuesday, citing the Guardia Civil police force.

The girl was found a few days later in Baza, a town in Andalusia some 200 kilometres from her parents’ home.

She was brought to safety before being forced into marriage with a 17-year-old, the report said.

The mother denied the allegations and claimed that her daughter had wanted to “go to her boyfriend.”

The police confirmed had confirmed the arrest of the parents.

The police received the decisive tip-off from a neighbor of the parents in Malagón, RTVE reported.

“The little girl was my son’s best friend … She was beaten by her mother and one day she asked me for help and told me everything,” said the neighbour in an interview with RTVE.

The girl was afraid of her mother and was “always crying and shaking.”

She had already gone to the police earlier to report the abuse of the girl, the neighbour continued.

She added that she had informed the Guardia Civil again after the 12-year-old girl disappeared. “The police then acted very quickly,” she said. (dpa/NAN)