Father arrested for torturing son to death

June 3, 2013

A father in Saudi Arabia who reportedly tortured his 10-year-old son to death and dumped his body in the desert has confessed his crime.

According to Saudi news site Sabq, the father, 37, turned violent against his son, chained him with a metal chain and tortured him until he died.

Shocked by the tragic turn of events, he took the lifeless body and dumped it in the desert. He then contacted the police and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police, to inform them that his son was missing, Sabq reported on Monday.

However, the mother, a non-Saudi Arab, told the police that she suspected the father was behind her son’s disappearance, explaining that he had tortured him.

During his interrogation, the father, a health employee in the Tabuk area, confessed to killing his son and on Sunday showed the police where he had dumped the body.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have been pushing for an integrated approach to protect children from domestic mental and physical violence and from school bullying.

According to Maha Al Muneef, executive director of the National Family Safety Programme (NFSP), Saudi Arabia had 206 reported cases of violence against children in 2012.

She said that 60 per cent of the cases were abuse while 20 per cent were physical violence.

“The remaining 20 per cent were negligence and mental and psychological abuse,” the activist said in mid-March.

Maha said that physical violence cases were “easiest to report” while sexual violence was “the most difficult to discover”.

“However, psychological violence is the least reported despite the high prevalence of the cases,” she added. “We now have an updated database about the cases and statistics are issued every year. The information contributes to drawing up relevant strategies to protect children in the kingdom,” she said.

Efforts to protect young boys and girls have recently received special attention following a series of media reports about children subjected to horrific abuse often by members of their immediate families.

The cases earlier this year of a man who tortured his five-year-old daughter to death and of another father who repeatedly poured scalding hot water and tea on his nine-year-old boy had sparked widespread outrage in the country.

However, activists have insisted that people needed to move beyond mere outrage, anger and condemnation to tackle domestic tragedies.

Strong traditions related to a prevailing deep sense of family privacy and secrecy have often hampered efforts to assist children in need.




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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