Saudi Preacher Fayhan al-Ghamdi Arrested for Torture Death of 5-Year-Old Daughter Lama
A prominent Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia has been arrested and accused of torturing his five-year-old daughter to death after the girl died in a Riyadh hospital.
Al-Arabiya reports that the girl, Lama al-Ghamdi, died in an intensive care unit of a hospital in the capital weeks after being admitted with broken arms, a skull fracture and head wounds. A medical report stated that Lama had been tortured with whips and electric shocks and had been burned with an iron.
Lamaa’s mother told reporters that her ex-husband, identified in multiple media sources as Fayhan al-Ghamdi, tortured the girl. According to Emirates 24/7, he did so with the help of his new wife.
“He used all sorts of torture and abuse against Lama,” the slain girl’s mother told al-Arabiya.
Al-Ghamdi is a former drug addict who rose to national prominence as a television preacher who reached viewers with his story of sin and repentance. He and Lamaa’s mother had a custody-sharing agreement under which each parent would spend time with the child. Lamaa never made it back from her last visit with her father.
A hospital official told reporters that al al-Ghamdi brought Lamaa to the facility, but he did not say why.
“I was shocked and could not believe what happened to Lama when I saw her,” the mother told al-Arabiya. “I could not believe that there is no mercy in people’s hearts.”
It was not the first time that Lamaa had been hospitalized due as a result of al-Ghamdi’s abuse. In April, he was accused of torturing the girl with batons and hot objects, fracturing her skull and causing brain damage.
But women and girls have few rights in Saudi Arabia, where a strict brand of Islamic fundamentalism called Wahhabism reigns. Saudi women cannot vote or drive cars. They cannot be admitted to hospitals or travel without written permission from husbands or male relatives.
Al-Ghamdi continued to be able to see his daughter, and the abuse allegedly continued. He has now reportedly been arrested by Saudi authorities.
“I appeal for the authorities and human rights groups to support my quest to have my ex-husband and his wife executed for murdering my daughter,” Lama’s mother told reporters.
Saudi Arabia executes more people each year than any other nation on earth besides China and Iran, for “crimes” including blasphemy, prostitution, homosexuality, adultery and witchcraft. Executions are usually carried out by public beheading.
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