A father in Saudi Arabia allegedly punished his nine children, including a three-month-old daughter, with red-hot skewers for almost a week because he could not find 100 riyals ($26).
The eldest attended school when the principal noticed she was not in shoes. From Gulf News:
The student said she could not put on her shoes because of the pain she was suffering from the burns inflicted by her father.
Encouraged by the principal to speak out, the daughter revealed how her father abused her and her siblings and how he had tortured them with a hot iron since Wednesday when he could not find the 100 riyals, local daily Okaz reported on Tuesday.
The torture included the three-month baby, the daughter said.
The principal alerted the Social Protection care home in Jeddah, prompting its specialists to decide to provide psychological and social support for the siblings who were referred to King Fahd Hospital for check-ups.
The mother works for 3,000 riyals a month at a local school, but did not speak out “for fear of a divorce that would split up the family” even though the father is unemployed and receives government checks.
Authorities removed the children from the home. They currently live in a temporary home until officials can find a permanent flat for the family. The eldest said she wants to be with her mother, but not her father. Unfortunately, child abuse is prevalent in Saudi Arabia. Maha Al Muneef, executive director of the National Family Safety Programme, said there are over 206 child abuse cases in the country.
“According to the figures, 60 per cent of the cases were abuses while 20 per cent were physical violence,” said Al Muneef. “The remaining 20 per cent were negligence and mental and psychological abuses.”
In March 2012, a court found Fayhan al-Ghamdi guilty of beating and torturing his five-year-old daughter Lama to death. He was sentenced to eights years and 600 lashes.