x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Saudi preacher who raped, tortured daughter, 5, to pay blood money

A Saudi preacher who raped his five-year-old daughter and tortured her to death has been sentenced to pay 'blood money' to the mother after having served a short jail term.

RIYADH // A Saudi preacher who raped his five-year-old daughter and tortured her to death has been sentenced to pay "blood money" to the mother after having served a short jail term.

Lamia Al Ghamdi 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 on October 22, 2012.

Fayhan Al Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim television networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group Women to Drive said on Saturday.

They said the father had doubted Lamia's virginity and had her checked up by a medic.

Randa Al Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lamia was admitted, said the girl's back was broken and that she had been raped "everywhere", according to the group.

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."

The activists said that the judge had ruled the prosecution could only seek "blood money [compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law] and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lamia's death suffices as punishment".

Three Saudi activists, including Manal Al Sharif, have raised objections to the ruling.

The ruling is based on a law that says a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives, activists said.