In a country where fathers' rights are institutionalized--and mothers' rights are nearly non-existent--child abuse is rampant.
Father beats ‘possessed’ son unconscious
Last Updated : Wednesday, September 05, 2012 3:43 PM
Saudi Gazette report
NAJRAN — A 10-year-old boy in Sharoura was whipped unconscious Saturday by his father who claimed his son had been possessed, Al-Watan newspaper reported Tuesday.
The victim, identified as Osama, returned home after the first day of school after the summer break, only to be assaulted by his father, who then took him to the emergency ward at Sharoura General Hospital.
The incident came days after another child in Sharoura was beaten to death by his father while disciplining him.
Najran police spokesman Maj. Abdul Rahman Al-Shamarani told Al-Watan that police were contacted by the hospital where the child was being treated for his injuries and investigators were dispatched to deal with the incident.
Al-Shamarani said the 38-year-old father, who was not identified, confessed that he beat his son because he had apparently been “touched” by demons.
The child’s father was detained and the case was referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution for further action, said Al-Shamarani.
The child sustained severe bruises on his back and abdomen and was moved to the hospital’s pediatric ward, said Saleh Bin Saad Al-Mouens, director of Health Affairs in Najran.
Al-Mouens added the victim’s case was also referred to the hospital’s committee for domestic violence, while the local social service department has been contacted.
Chairman of the local family protection committee Abdullah Al-Barigi said he has formed a specialist team to investigate the case.
Al-Watan reported the child’s father had taken his son to a sheikh a day before the incident, claiming the boy was not responding to him and that he thought his son had been tainted by demons.
The sheikh suggested the father take his son to a hospital as he did not see any signs that the child had been “possessed.”