Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Saudi Royal Family Steps In to Keep Murderer/Rapist Imprisoned

The Saudi royal family has stepped into the middle of a torture/rape/murder case that stunned Saudi Arabia and the world.  Reports abound that royals were "stung" by the outrage sparked by the case when it was reported that a well known Saudi preacher was going to be released after serving only a few months in jail by paying "blood money."  The preacher, Fayhan Al-Ghamdi, had admitted to torturing his own 5-year-old daughter Lama.  The girl was also raped and beaten, eventually succumbing to her injuries after spending 10 months hospitalized in a coma. 

The details of the brutal crime were horrific.  But the possibility of this monster being set free back out on the streets of Saudi Arabia caused an enormous emotional uproar within the country and around the world.  Fortunately members of the Saudi royal family were listening.

While many screamed for the death penalty for Al-Ghamdi, according to Shariah law which governs Saudi Arabia, a man cannot be put to death for killing his children or his wife.  The country's legal system does allow for executing men and women for other crimes, however. 

Human rights activists are not satisfied with the royals jumping in to intervene when a public scandal makes worldwide headlines in a case like this one.  They call for the entire judicial system to be revamped, as it sorely lacks in providing adequate protection for women and children. 

Eman al-Nafjan, known as “Saudi Woman” in the blogging world and a leading women's rights activist who lives in Riyadh said, "This is just an example of the sort of case that happens all the time in Saudi Arabia.  We have no sexual harassment laws, no child abuse laws. Cases are left to the discretion of the police and the judge. If a woman reports a sexual crime they don't investigate it.
They call the religious police and pressure her to drop it."

For more reading on this subject:

Saudi royals act on child rapist

He will stay in prison for a long time...


  1. Doesn't the quran say "The killing of one innocent eing is the killing of whole humanity" but then this shariah law which says a man cannot be sentenced to death for killing his wife or children seems contradictory. Can you shed some light as to the logic behind why it is seen as not punishable to death.


    1. Hi Prasad - I wish I could shed some light on this topic, but I myself don't understand. This would make a good discussion if others would care to join in.
      From what I have read, the Quran does not specifically say this. A few holy men have interpreted some passages in the Quran to mean that men cannot be executed for killing their children or their wives, while others disagree with these interpretations. As usual these interpretations totally favor men in this patriarchal society and fail to protect the women and children. What good reason could a man have for killing his young child?

    2. I think it probably boils down to the fact that people (Muslim men anyway)are free to dispose of their property as they wish and clearly their children and their wives are their property. If it was the mother that had killed the child she would probably be executed already.


  2. This is a good example why Saudi Arabia needs to have a formal legal code. It is good that the royal family stepped in but they shouldn't have to.

    1. I agree, Jerry. It's problematic that people are not treated equally under the law of the land here. Like many other places around the world, if you have connections, you can get off with a much lesser sentence than someone else who doesn't have your same connections. Many crimes go unpunished. Also it's not really clear in many cases what is considered a crime and what's not. It's definitely confusing.