Saudi court upholds death sentence for child murder

October 16, 2012

A Saudi court has upheld the death sentence of a woman who tortured her seven-year-old stepdaughter to death.

The appeals court in Makkah also sentenced the girl’s father to 20 years imprisonment for not interfering to protect his daughter, Kalthoum.

The initial verdicts were pronounced three years ago by a lower court in Makkah following the couple’s trial.

The case deeply shocked the peaceful communities living in the city.

According to reports, the girl lived with her father after he divorced his Bangladeshi wife. The girl continued to live with him after he married a Burmese woman.

The police discovered that the stepmother relentlessly beat Kalthoum with a stick and burned her all over her body. The stepmother also allegedly inserted a stick in the girl’s private parts, causing her to bleed. The torture eventually caused Kalthoum to die, local Arabic daily Al Madinah reported on Sunday.

The father was impleaded as an accomplice for not lifting a finger to shield his daughter from harm.

The stepmother, believed to be in her 20s, claimed she was merely disciplining the child.

However, when the couple realised that the child died, they took her to a local hospital.

The investigation revealed that the stepmother told the hospital that the girl was her own daughter and that the father has been out of the country for years.

However, under pressure from the authorities alerted by the victim’s condition and burn marks on her body, she admitted that she had beaten Kalthoum several times and that she tortured her in the presence of her father.

Neighbours told the police that they spoke with the father whenever they heard the girl’s screams from the torture inflicted upon her.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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