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Father investigated for son's torture in Saudi Arabia

Nine-year-old, who claims he never saw any help forthcoming, puts child abuse firmly in the spotlight

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 13:04 February 5, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Okaz
  • Rakan, despite the horrors he endured at his parents’ hands, says he does not want to see either his father or mother punished.
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Manama: The father of a nine-year-old boy is being investigated by Saudi police after he allegedly tortured his son by pouring scalding hot water and tea on him and stubbing cigarettes out on his body.

The mother has also been summoned for her failure to alert the police.

Prince Mish’al Bin Majid, the governor of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, said that all care should be provided to the victim, Rakan, to treat the cruel physical and mental scars, and ordered a thorough investigation by the police.

The case was brought to the attention of the Protection Home, a shelter for abused people in the city, by the grandfather, who said he was moved to act after he failed to persuade his son, Rakan’s father, to put an end to his cruel abuse, local Arabic daily Al Watan reported.

In his complaint, the grandfather, who was not named, said his son used to live with his family in the Saudi capital Riyadh before moving to Jeddah where he worked for a private security company. He said his son took drugs and that his efforts to persuade him to give them up had failed.

According to the grandfather, his son never bothered to have an identity card issued for Rakan, “which deprived him of attending school and receiving a formal education.”

The abuse involved having scalding water thrown on him, cigarettes stubbed out on his body, beatings with a stick and keeping him from leaving his room for days.

“When all my efforts to find a solution failed, I decided to file a complaint,” the grandfather said. “The terrible sight of Rakan’s body and the moral abuse he suffered were unbearable,” he said.

The man told Saudi daily Al Medina that he would look after his grandson.

“Whenever I looked at my grandson, I felt very uneasy,” he said. “No human being could tolerate this and I was shocked when he told me that his father stubbed a full pack of cigarettes out on him. When I wanted to confront my own son, he evaded me and regretfully, the mother was passive. I really hope that my grandson will come to live with me when he leaves the hospital,” he said.

Rakan, currently receiving treatment at King Fahad General Hospital in Jeddah, refused to go home to his parents, arguing that both his father and mother repeatedly punished him with hot water and fire.

In an interview with Al Medina, Rakan said that his father often punished him while the mother was silent.

“One day, he left me in the car trunk as if I were a sheep,” he said.

Rakan said that the scars on his body were from the visible side of the torture he suffered.

“My father did that to me by using several means to torture me,” he told the newspaper. “He poured hot water or hot tea and burned me with fire. He also beat me up every day even when I did nothing. Whenever I suffered from the scalding hot liquids or terrible burns, no one rushed to help me or to treat me,” he said.

However, Rakan said that he did not want to see his father or mother punished.

“I love them both, but I would rather be with my grandfather,” he said.

Saleh Sarhan Al Gamdi, the head of the Protection Home, told Al Watan that Rakan, as a victim of physical and moral torture, needed special care.

Hospital officials said a special team of doctors had been assigned to Rakan who was also provided with 24-hour security to protect him.

When he arrived at the Home, Rakan refused to talk with anyone for about five hours, Al Gamdi said.

“However, thanks to our women experts, we were able to understand the situation and see the horror he suffered. We naturally informed the police and the action process was launched,” he said.

Comments (20)

  1. Added 17:22 February 6, 2013

    End of thea day i read this article and i cant stop crying. salute the grandfather who took this bold step to punish his own son. such a cruel father. if you have mental problems please take help, dont throw your frustrations on that little child. Authorities please show it to the other world that Islam stands for Fairness, Justice & peace & Love by punishing the parents severely.

    MERLYN, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:48 February 6, 2013

    I am shocked to read this. How can parents be so cruel, so stone heart? There is no humanity left in this world. Such humans are worse than animals. God Bless child.

    pahmed, abu dhabi, Bangladesh

  3. Added 16:17 February 6, 2013

    this is such a horrible act. how can parents commit such a crime? we all as parents have to raise our kids to the best of our abilities and love them, care about them, etc so that they can grow into good, self respectable human beings. but what about the mother of child? how can she be under pressure from her husband? i hope and pray for the child that he gets all the love, care and good education and everything he has lost till now.

    Jyoti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:56 February 6, 2013

    So cruel and very dishearted, these parents are lucky to have this son. they should be proud of him & should learn from him how to respect and love. Praying God for his safe life and good future.

    Dhanwanti, Abudhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 15:40 February 6, 2013

    Heart breaking.

    Levy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 15:23 February 6, 2013

    I am shocked to read this. How can parents be so cruel, so stone hearted? There is no humanity left in this world. Such humans are worse than animals. Even animals dont harm their own children. Look at the child and even after such torture, he doesn't want his parents to be punished as he says he loves them. God bless the child.

    Arushi Madan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:18 February 6, 2013

    I had tears in my eyes reading about this small child Rakan, how much he suffered, the amount of painhe was in. Adults, if we even get small cut we can't bear it, yet this small child has suffered too much. Please authorities, please punish his parents.

    Rakhee Mansukhani, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 14:46 February 6, 2013

    to Dr. Raju Mathew... I strongly dis agree with you. The main problem is the way they are brought up. You cant blame others for being a lousy parent. This father at some point was a child and he must have recieved the same treatment from his parents. Its the big circle of life and there should have been someone to intervene. the mother of the child or even the school teachers or even siblings. Don't rush to blame someone else. I blame the father who is a spineless man.

    Raymon Thomas, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

  9. Added 11:32 February 6, 2013

    Nowadays this kind of horrible news is coming from all over the world. What is happening to people? Where is this world is going? How can humans behave like animals? It's time to think, time to analyse yourself. Let's hope for a better tomorrow.

    SAJU, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 11:24 February 6, 2013

    It is the failure of religiou leaders or societal norms that leads men to commit crimes against children - sons or daughters. Instead of wasting time for petty issues, religious leaders must focus on the dignity of children and women and empowering them besides launching mass awareness programmes. The greatest task of a religious leader or a modern society is to develop people with basic human values and spirituality.

    Dr Raju M. Mathew, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

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