Yemen court frees Saudi who eloped with boyfriend

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SANAA, Yemen (AP) - A Yemeni court has released a Saudi woman who eloped with her boyfriend, and whose detention for crossing the border illegally became a romantic cause celebre in the traditional Arabian Peninsula society.

The court on Tuesday gave the 22-year-old Huda Abdullah Ali Al Niran three months to seek the help of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees to settle in Yemen and marry her 25-year-old boyfriend, Arafat Taher al-Qadi.

The couple's story inspired rallies by young Yemeni men and women outside the courtroom, some carrying banners claiming to answer to the "call of love."

Al-Qadi reportedly told investigators that Al Niran's father rejected his marriage proposal, forcing them to elope.

Prosecutors said Al Niran was charged with illegally entering Yemen while al-Qadi was accused of helping her.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Ahmed Al-Haj


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