Editor’s warning: this story is extremely distressing. We thought very carefully about publishing it but decided it needed to be told if women and girls in Saudi Arabia are ever going to be helped.
The Saudi Islamic preacher Fayan al-Ghamdi, who was accused of torturing his five-year-old daughter Lama to death, has been sentenced to eight years in jail and 600 lashes.
Lama al-Ghamdi died in October last year, after having suffered from multiple and horrific injuries. Her skull had been crushed, and she had extensive burns and bruising on her body.
Previously, Mamamia reported:
In another world, in another country, this cute little girl would have been in her first year of school, learning to read and write and shyly making new friends in the playground.
But at five-years-old, Lama al-Ghamdi was admitted to a Saudi hospital suffering from numerous injuries, including broken ribs, a broken arm, a crushed skull and bruising after being brutally tortured by her father.
She had also been repeatedly raped and burned “everywhere”, according to the hospital staff.
Because – and this is almost incomprehensible – Lama’s father was concerned about her virginity.
His daughter was five years old.
A few days ago, we ran this brief news item on Mamamia that shocked us to the core:
There are reports out of the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadah today that a 5-year-old girl has been beaten to death by her father, a prominent Muslim cleric. Apparently the cleric, Fayan al-Ghamdi killed his daughter because he questioned her virginity. Unbelievably he has managed to pay around $50,000 in blood money in order to escape a jail term of any significance.
So we endevoured to find out more about the tragic case and we learned about little Lama and her astonishing fate.
Since that day, more horrific details have been revealed. Lama’s death has been brought to the attention of the media thanks to her mother, Syeda Mohammed Al.
“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,” Syeda Mohammed Al, who is now divorced from Lama’s father, told CNN.
The cleric, Fayan al-Ghamdi, is a religious personality who appears frequently on television in Saudi Arabia. He admitted to using a cane and cable to inflict the injuries on his daughter – and has been in prison for 8 months and the case was still under review.