Gulf | Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia mother may lose custody after brutally abusing son

It took four hours for the Saudi police to convince the woman to free the child

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 00:00 September 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Pictures circulated in social media show the child lying in a narrow alley, likely behind a kitchen and chained to the pipe.

Manama: Police in eastern Saudi Arabia needed four hours to convince a mother to allow them to take her four-year-old child, whom she had severely beaten and chained to a pipe, to be treated at a hospital.

Pictures circulated in social media showed the child lying in a narrow alley, likely behind a kitchen and chained to the pipe. Angry internet users were unable to identify the location, but called for combined efforts to free the child.

The police were eventually able on Saturday afternoon to identify the neighbourhood in Hafr Al Baten and headed to the house where they told the mother they needed to take the child to hospital to check his condition, local news site Sabq reported on Sunday.

However, the mother refused to let them take him and insisted that he was faring well, explaining that it was the first time that she had chained him to the pipe.

She said that she wanted to punish him for beating his half brother from an earlier marriage.

Following four hours of intense negotiations involving the mother, the police and members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice and Family Protection, the mother and the boy were taken to a hospital.

Neighbours told the police that it was not the first time that the child was beaten and chained by the mother.

Sources told Sabq that the mother would lose the custody of her child and all the other children if doctors and specialists said there was a case of domestic violence.

Family members reportedly told the police that the child had been diagnosed with autism. However, the police said that they needed to see formal evidence supporting their claim.

In Dammam, the largest city in the Eastern Province, Prince Saud Bin Nayef Al Saud, the Governor, called for “providing the necessary assistance and care to the child” in coordination with the competent authorities.

The National Society for Human Rights said that it was monitoring the situation and that it would hold those responsible accountable for their action.

Online comments overwhelmingly agreed that the mother should be punished for torturing her child and punishing him severely.

They insisted that he should be taken away from her to protect him from her “cruelty”.

“The mother truly deserves to be whipped because a high number of lashes might put some reason in her brain,” Umm Al Karam wrote.

Saudi authorities have been pushing in nationwide campaigns for an end to domestic violence, especially in broken family homes.

Challenges include changing ultra conservative mindsets and mentalities, especially in remote areas.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 16:54 September 23, 2013

    So if neighbors had seen this before, why was it not reported then?

    Samantha, Yvonne, United Kingdom

  2. Added 16:51 September 23, 2013

    The mother should be charged and the police officials who went there should be charged too. Why did they take 4 hours to take the child from the mother?

    ALI, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:13 September 23, 2013

    How could a mother do that to her own child? Its absurd, my brain does not assimilate this. She should be severely punished, the children are angels and since he has autism he requires special care and should be distinguished by good and patient behavior. Shame on women who call themselves mothers if they cannot protect their children.

    Umm Mehio, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:38 September 23, 2013

    The mother needs to be arrested and charged with cruelty, and hopefully given a long jail term, you wouldn't treat a dog like that.

    Paul Devine, Belfast, United Kingdom

  5. Added 14:09 September 23, 2013

    I totally agree with you, Vikram. Why would they have to "convince" an obviously unfit mother. They should have exercised their authority to bring the child to safety without delay.

    Pam A, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:03 September 23, 2013

    this happens in daily basis in SOME homes behind closed doors, parents think that they have the right to discipline and punish a child for his bad behaviour using the most pathetic excuse ever " he is my child i can punish him in any way i choose " ! where as in reality its called " child abuse " . according to humanrights in ISLAM a child should be safe and protected always and parents should have mercy and love toward these children but sadly there is no awarness of this issue in Gulf countries in general and i really wish for this to change.

    amna, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:21 September 23, 2013

    The report says the police took 4 hrs to free the child as they where trying to convince the mother, convince the mother for WHAT... when a child is abused the action should be swift ,something seriously wrong with this world..

    vikram nanthur, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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