Fayhan al-Ghamndi found guilty of murder. CREDIT: Youtube/Video Media
Fayahn al-Ghamdi, a self-appointed Islamist preacher, was found guilty by a Saudi court in the town of Hawta on charges of torturing and murdering his 5-year-old daughter, Lama. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison and 600 lashes and asked to pay a million riyals ($270,000) of "blood money" to his wife Syeda Mohammed Ali.
Initially, Ali wanted the dealth penalty be imposed to al-Ghamdi but under Islamic law a father cannot be executed for murdering his children or wives. Instead, he must pay "blood money" to the victim's next of kin. In this case, it will be Lama's mother. "My dear child is dead, and all I want now is justice so I can close my eyes and know she didn't die in vain. She was brutally tortured in the most shocking way," Ali told CNN in February this year.
Lama's murder was brought upon by the self-styled cleric's accusation that his daughter was not a virgin. He broke her ribs, burned parts of her body and crushed her skull. "The father confessed the abuse, the beating and torturing of Lama in the most obnoxious manner," Ali said last February "These are not some unfounded accusations, but everything is based on the medical examination by the hospital and the team of physicians who treated Lama when she was first admitted."
Lama was brought to King Saud Hospital in Riyadh in March 2012 after suffering from multiple and severe injuries. Ali maintains that the accusations of rape are unfounded. Family, officials and activists following the case all said the child died late October last year.
The outcome of the verdict has caused outrage all over the social media community. Many noted in a country where the death penalty is customary, the punishment for Al-Ghamdi's act is too light. Twitter users in Saudi are quick to point out that more severe penalties have been given to people who did much less. An example of was the uploaded video of men dancing naked on the roof of a car. The perpetrators were sentenced with 2,000 lashes and 10 years in prison.
To contact the editor, e-mail: