Prosecutors in the Saudi capital Riyadh are looking into the death of a seven-year-old girl from the violence inflicted on her by her father.
Yara died reportedly a few hours before Eid Al Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, one of the most auspicious occasions for celebrations by children in the Islamic world.
“The family conflicts between men and my former husband had led to our separation,” Yara’s mother said. “Yara moved in with me and I took care of her until she reached seven. Her father refused to allow her to live with me and three months ago, she went to live with him in Riyadh as per the regulations. She did not wish to move in with him, and she was very unhappy,” she told Saudi daily Al Watan.
According to a statement by one of the prosecutors to the mother, Yara on the day of her death was beaten up by a hose and a cane.
“He used a hose that he snatched from the air-conditioning unit and beat her all over her body. They believe that the fatal blow occurred when he hit her hard on the head,” the mother said. “He started beating her simply because she told him that she did not love him. He was furious and locked her inside a room. She burst into tears and had an uncontrollable crying fit. When he unlocked the room, he noticed she was in a bad condition and drove her to hospital. However, she died on the way,” the mother said.
The father reportedly attributed the beating to his wish to “educate” her. A lab test proved the father was not on drugs.
“The case is still being probed and the investigation is moving as per the rules and regulations until the file reaches the stage of the court,” Saeed Al Qahtani, the mother’s lawyer, said. “Prosecutors have been listening to all parties concerned, and they have covered a lot of ground. We are now waiting for the final medical report and for the prosecutors’ charges,” he said.
Social media users said they were shocked by the savage violence inflicted on a seven-year-old girl, and called for stringent action against the father.
“This is a most heinous crime and the criminal should be buried alive,” Abu Nawas said.
According to Noora, the punishment should be severe and prompt. “People spend the day before Eid praying and supplicating God, and this criminal used it to kill his innocent daughter. He should be put to death without delays,” she said.
Another user, writing under the moniker of Father, said that he was appalled by the crime.
“Some hearts have hardened beyond hope for repair and some people have turned into evil forces devoid of feelings and emotions,” he posted. “May God grant Yara eternal peace and may this criminal be punished severely,” he said.