A Saudi man living in the kingdom’s capital city Riyadh beat his seven-year-old daughter to death with an air conditioning hose in a fit of rage. Her crime was telling him she did not love him.
Yara was reportedly forced to live with her father under the terms of her parents’ divorce, against her wishes. Her mother reportedly told the Saudi daily newspaper Al Watan that Yara did not want to move in with him, that she was very unhappy. Under Saudi Sharia law, fathers automatically gain custody rights of their daughters when they turn nine and sons when they turn seven.
The father reportedly became angry when Yara told him she did not love him and did not want to live with him, which sent him into a rage. The Daily Mail notes that this is when he snatched a hose from the air conditioning unit and began beating her with it, including hitting the little girl on the head. He allegedly told prosecutors that he wanted to “educate” his daughter.
He then locked her in her bedroom, where she had an uncontrollable crying fit. “When he unlocked the room, he noticed she was in a bad condition and drove her to hospital. However, she died on the way.” The blow to her head likely caused the fatality.
Saeed Al Qahtani, the mother’s lawyer, said, “The case is still being probed and the investigation is moving as per the rules and regulations until the file reaches the stage of the court,” according to Gulf News. “Prosecutors have been listening to all parties concerned, and they have covered a lot of ground. We are now waiting for the final medical report and for the prosecutors’ charges.”
Yara died hours before Eid al-Adha, which is one of the holiest days in the Muslim calendar. Also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” it is celebrated to remember the sacrifice the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim in the Qur’an) in the Torah (from which the Qur’an is derived) was willing to make in the name of God by giving up his first-born son on the altar. In both the Torah and the Qur’an, an angel intervened and prevented the sacrifice from taking place.