Indonesian teen weds bride, 73, in remote village

Selamet Riyadi, 15, and his 73-year-old bride Rohaya Binti Kiagus Muhammad Jakfar, who took care of him when he was suffering from malaria. Local officials allowed the marriage after the couple threatened a double suicide.
Selamet Riyadi, 15, and his 73-year-old bride Rohaya Binti Kiagus Muhammad Jakfar, who took care of him when he was suffering from malaria. Local officials allowed the marriage after the couple threatened a double suicide.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LENGKITI • A teenage boy has married his 73-year-old lover in a remote village in Indonesia's Sumatra island, officials said, after 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. "Selamet is too young to marry but we married them anyway because he threatened to commit suicide," village chief Cik Ani, told Agence France-Presse, adding that local officials also wanted them to "avoid the sin of adultery".

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

Selamet's father died several years ago and the boy was not properly cared for by his mother, who has remarried, Mr Ani said.

Ms Rohaya has been married twice before, both times to divorcees and has at least one child from the marriages, but this time "she got a virgin", Mr Ani added.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2017, with the headline 'Indonesian teen weds bride, 73, in remote village'. Print Edition | Subscribe