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Saudi cleric who raped and killed daughter receives small fine

An Islamic cleric in Saudi Arabia has paid just £31,500 in 'blood money' after reportedly raping, torturing, and killing his 5-year-old daughter

by The Commentator on 3 February 2013 21:34

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Saudi Arabian media sources have reported that an Islamic cleric who raped, tortured and killed his 5-year-old daughter, has been let off with a small fine, avoiding a jail sentence.

Lama al-Ghamdi was the daughter of Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher who makes regular appearances on television. Under Saudi law, al-Ghamdi has had to pay only £31,500 in 'blood money', even after confessing to the heinous crime. 

Gulf News reports that 5-year-old Lama was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns. She died last October 22.

Activists from women's rights groups said that the father had doubted Lama’s virginity and had her checked up by a medic. A social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted said the girl’s back was broken and that she had been raped “everywhere”.

According to the victim’s mother, hospital staff told her that her “child’s rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed.”

Ghamdi has apparently paid 200,000 riyals ($50,000; £31,500) in "blood money" - a sum that can be paid to relatives of a murder victim and which, if accepted, can replace a death sentence.

Human rights activists have indicated that judicial leniency towards male abusers reflects the highly problematic nature of the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia.

Currently, women in Saudi Arabia are considered minors, and all are automatically assigned to the care and judgment of their most immediate male relative. 

So far, three Saudi activists have raised objections to the ruling which is based on Saudi laws that state that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives.

Read more on: Fayhan al-Ghamdi, Lama al-Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia, and rape
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