SHARJAH // Two killers have lost an appeal against their jail terms for causing a woman’s death during a religious healing ceremony.
They struck the victim with sticks and their hands, pulled her head back using her hair and shook her body during the “ruqia” treatment.
Their actions caused bleeding in her brain during the ceremony in Khor Fakkan in 2011.
Ruqia is used by professional Islamic scholars to cure people affected by black magic, the evil eye or possession, by reading certain verses of the Quran.
The men were convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to two years in prison by Sharjah Criminal Court.
The victim’s relatives pardoned them, meaning they were spared a death sentence and having to pay blood money.
The Court of Appeals then reduced their sentences to six months each.
The men later lodged an appeal at the Federal Supreme Court, claiming they did not intend to kill the woman but had merely treated her by reading verses from the Quran while lightly hitting her.
They also said the previous courts had not taken into account that the victim had fallen in the bathroom 10 days before the ceremony and this could have caused her death.
This argument was rejected by the Supreme Court, which ruled that under the Maliki school of Sharia, if a perpetrator’s actions cause death it is classed as premeditated murder, even if he did not mean to kill the victim.
The six-month jail terms were upheld.