Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Bangladesh's high court on Monday upheld the country's law banning Rohingya, refugee ethnic minorities from Myanmar, from getting married in the country.
The court said the Rohingya may not marry Bangladeshis or each other in order to keep the refugees from obtaining citizenship in Bangladesh.
The government passed the law in July 2014 out of fear the Rohingya were getting married in order to get citizenship. A Bangladeshi man, Babul Hossain, filed a petition with the court last year seeking remedy for his 25-year-old son, Shoaib Hossain, who married an 18-year-old Rohingya, Rafiza.
The two married with the consent of the teen's parents before the law was issued, though they were unable to register the marriage at the time. Upon returning to Shoaib Hossain's village, police pursued the couple and they fled out of fear of arrest.
The court denied Babul Hossain's petition and ordered him to pay a more than $1,200 fine.
"The petitioners have wronged in two ways. They brought that girl outside the specified area. In addition, they filed a writ with the High Court in their bid to register the marriage," Deputy Attorney General Mother Hossain Raju said.
More than half a million Rohingya people fled Myanmar to Bangladesh last year. Myanmar denies citizenship to the ethnic group, which is mostly Muslim, but also includes some Hindus.
Bangladeshis who marry Rohingya face up to seven years in prison.