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Outcry over tot's abuse by father
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 01 - 2017

[caption id="attachment_112186" align="alignleft" width="257"] Video showing the abuse. — Okaz photos
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By Fatima Muhammad
‫ ‬
TWITTERATIS and other social media users have raised a vehement outcry over the alleged abuse of a girl child by her father as a ploy to teach a lesson or two to his estranged wife. The video of the abuse went viral and drew the ire of the authorities. Accordingly, Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal ordered complete investigations into the sordid tale and the arrest of the man seen violently beating his daughter, squeezing her cheeks and putting his teeth very close to the infant.
The mother of the abused infant who introduced herself as Umm Dareen told Saudi Gazette that she still has not seen her daughter who is at present lodged in a protection shelter. But, she has been promised a meeting soon. She thanked officials for their intervention and called on them to help her get an official marriage contract and also a divorce document to protect her rights and that of her daughter. "I request the judiciary to take cognizance of the matter and punish him [the father] and imprison him to prevent violence."
[caption id="attachment_112187" align="alignright" width="242"] The innocent child
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The mother is living in Madinah while her ex-husband was arrested in Makkah.
The story started from Twitter when a divorced mother decided to seek help from the public to retrieve her daughter, who is only a few months old, from the abusive father. The mother said on her account @3_uj8 that she wanted to get back her daughter after the man started to send her videos of him violently beating the daughter.
The mother, a Syrian, said that her ex-husband proposed to her and provided her a forged marriage approval. The man's family had objections to the marriage and she alleged that she was physically and verbally abused by family members including her husband. Their marriage lasted four years before the man insisted to take the child in order to divorce the mother. She said she wanted to approach a court for the child's custody. However, as the baby was suffering violence at her father's hand, she decided to use Twitter to help her get back her baby.
Faiz Al-Malki, well-known Saudi actor, helped the mother who was new to Twitter to create a hashtag which started trending. A few hours later the Ministry of Labor and Social Development contacted the mother to verify the story. Khalid Abal Khail, spokesman of the ministry, said officials visited the mother and the protection unit at the ministry managed to get hold of the baby and has conducted medical check-ups for her.
The Makkah governorate also announced that based on the directives of Prince Khaled the police have arrested the abusive father.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission said it was following the case and stressed that the videos show criminal intent that is banned in Islamic teachings and laws. Therefore, it noted that the father cannot go without getting deterrent punishment. The sentence may range between a month to 12 months in prison, a fine between SR5,000 to SR50,000 or the two penalties together.


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