Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Saudi fined for killing 5-year-old daughter causes outrage

صور الداعيه فيحان الغامدي قاتل طفلته لمى

Published Monday, February 4, 2013
A Saudi preacher convicted of having brutally tortured and killed his young daughter will be released from prison in exchange for financially compensating the five-year-old’s family, sparking outrage from activists who demand a heavier sentence.

Fayhan al-Ghamdi was arrested in November for the death of his daughter Lama. The girl’s parents were divorced, and her mother had been trying to obtain full custody of her daughter, alleging that al-Ghamdi had physically abused her during their marriage.

Lama died in the intensive care unit of a Riyadh hospital on October 22 as a result of internal bleeding and a skull fracture. Several news outlets allege that Lama was raped – either by her father or another man – but a prosecution report obtained by al-Watan said the autopsy did not reveal any signs of sexual assault.

Al-Ghamdy is a religious scholar with a well-established media presence and well-known for preaching about kindness and mercy.

In a court session on January 26, a judge ruled that al-Ghamdy’s four months in prison were sufficient punishment if he could pay $50,000 as compensation for the death of the child, an amount presumably to be received by Lama’s mother.

While murder and rape are typically punished by death in Saudi Arabia, a judge’s interpretation of sharia can lower the sentence when the case involves a man killing his daughter or wife. However, al-Ghamdy’s punishment is seen as unusually light.

Al-Ghamdy’s ex-wife has reportedly appealed the decision.

Prominent Saudi activists, including Manal al-Sharif, have raised objections to the ruling according to AFP.

Activist group Women to Drive denounced the case in a press release, saying that “the court’s leniency towards male abusers and murderers reflects the larger problem of the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia.”

Reactions on social media have widely condemned al-Ghamdy’s actions and the judge’s decision.
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