#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 8°C Friday 27 May 2022

Teenage boy marries 73-year-old woman in Indonesia

The couple threatened suicide if the wedding was stopped.

File photo of henna on an Indonesian bride's hands
File photo of henna on an Indonesian bride's hands
Image: Shutterstock/antoni halim

A TEENAGE BOY has married his 73-year-old lover in a remote village on Sumatra island in Indonesia, officials have said.

The unconventional couple threatened a double suicide if their match was thwarted.

The romance began when septuagenarian Rohaya Binti Kiagus Muhammad Jakfar took care of her neighbour Selamet Riyadi, 15, who was suffering from malaria, the local village chief said.

Village chief Cik Ani said the marriage was allowed to go ahead despite the boy’s age because he had threatened to kill himself if it did not. The chief added that local officials also wanted the couple to “avoid the sin of adultery”.

“Since the boy is underage, we have decided to carry out the marriage privately,” he said.

Riyadi’s father died several years ago and the boy was not properly cared for by his mother, who has remarried, Ani said. Rohaya has been married twice before and has at least one child.

‘Madly in love’ 

The marriage took place last Sunday in the remote Karang Endah village in South Sumatra province, but sparked national interest when a video of the couple’s wedding vows went viral on social media outlets.

“He said he was madly in love. We love each other,” Rohaya told reporters after the wedding.

The video shows the unlikely couple reciting their vows in front of their relatives and friends.

Under Indonesian law, the legal age for marriage is 19 for a man and 16 for a woman.

© AFP 2017

Read: Teenager pregnant from rape jailed for murder after stillbirth in El Salvador

Read: Some victims had their throats slit as 28 inmates killed in brutal Mexico prison riot

About the author:


Read next: