Gulf | Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia preacher Fayhan Al Gamdi gets 8 years, 800 lashes for torturing daughter to death

Mother to be given SR 1 million in blood money after she dropped death penalty call

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 08:42 October 8, 2013

  • Image Credit: Al Sharq
  • The murdered five year old Luma.

Manama: A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a father who had tortured his five-year-old daughter to death to eight years in prison and 800 lashes.

The court in Hawtat Bani Tamim, 160 kilometers south of the capital Riyadh also ruled that Fayhan Al Gamdi, a self-proclaimed preacher, pay Luma’s mother, his ex-wife, SR 1 million in blood money.

Under Saudi laws, the mother had the right to ask for blood money instead of the death penalty for the defendant.

Al Ghamdi’s second wife was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes for not reporting the torture inflicted on Luma, Saudi daily Al Sharq reported on Tuesday, quoting a Human Rights Commission activist.

The lawyers of Luma’s father and stepmother have appealed the verdict.

Luma’s case shocked Saudi Arabia to the core last year when details emerged how her father tortured as she visited him and his new wife. Reports said that the father used wires and an iron rod to punish his daughter and that he had expressed doubts about her virginity.

She died after four months in coma and was not buried for another four months pending the investigation and the autopsy procedures.

Luma’s divorced mother said that her daughter lived with her under a court order and was allowed to visit her father even though he reportedly did not seem to care about her.

She added that she had agreed to marry her ex-husband as he appeared to be a gentle and reformed man after spending years of his life as a drug addict. However, following the marriage, he turned into a violent man who often beat her, forcing her to file for divorce.

A court in the Eastern Province city of Dammam ruled in her favour and she was told by the judge that she could have the custody of the daughter until the girl reached the age of seven.

The mother said that, following the divorce, her former husband had met their daughter only on four occasions.

“The last visit was when I took her to see him in Riyadh where he had moved after he lapsed into a long silence even though Luma was keen on seeing him,” she said. “The agreement was that she spends only two weeks with him, but after 14 days he refused to let her come back home to me. The last words I heard from her were ‘I love you, mum and I always pray for you.’ Her father often said that he would make her forget all about me,” the mother told Saudi media.

In December 2011, Luma’s mother was informed by the police in Riyadh that her daughter was in hospital where she was being treated for severe burns and bruises, and that her condition was critical.

“It was such a terrible shock to see her frail body in this tragic state. She remained paralysed for several months before she passed away,” she said.

The mother initially insisted on the death penalty for her former husband and his wife for torturing her daughter, but she later changed her mind, saying that she would rather take blood money to help her with the increasingly frustrating financial challenges.

“I have three other children [from a previous marriage] and a house to look after and I will need the money,” she said in June. “There is no interest for the family in the execution of my former husband.”

Amid the public furore about the case and claims that Al Ghamdi would not be given the punishment he deserved because of his religious status, the Islamic Affairs Ministry in November said he was not on its official list of Islamic preachers.

“He is not registered with the ministry and we have no relationship with him in any way,” Shaikh Saleh Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh, the minister, said. “He had committed a heinous crime and he cannot be a preacher. No-one can ever justify his crime.”

Comments (12)

  1. Added 13:18 October 9, 2013

    It is really disheartening,sad and upsurd to know this guy will be free.He should be definelety EXECUTED. Is the government giving him one more chance to commit another henious crime. When he can do to his own daughter, He can be worse with anybody. He didnt even had mercy on the little angle. The cost of life has become so reasonable. I am even upset about the mother's decision to ask for blood money. How can she justify her child's life with the equaion of money no matter how needy you are. We all have financial issues in life but we will not solve it at the cost of our children's lives. she should have asked for straight death. How long will she be using that money, some couple of years maybe. After that what but by doing so,she is partially in fault by letting him walk away free is inviting more crimes to innocent people. I cant come to the terms of the judgement between the naked man dancing and the cruel father who brutally killed his daughter.

    Mrs Mohammed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:41 October 9, 2013

    Lets not blame the Sharia Law. The people within the sharia law are not in a good sense to put verdict in each case. Terrible crime should attain terrible punishment. Minor crime should receive minor punishment. Whatever good the system is , it will not be always fair if the people inside are not doing it properly.

    yasir, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:50 October 9, 2013

    Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him said "one Judge in heaven & two in Hell" thats how he described the probability for judges.. All Graet scholars have always resisted to become judge as it is an accountability beyond imagination. Saudi being known to non Muslims as symbol of islam is totally wrong. so any action raised from there is not surely has to be as per correct instructions of islam .. islam is broad & way of life till end of time .. & not limited to what the extremism limits it ... however, this one doesnt fits in at all.....

    muhammed, alain, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:59 October 8, 2013

    I think many people who comments here didn't see that the child mothers asked for blood money instead of death punishment. so, its not KSA judicial mistake. but, they gave him extra punishment. Because, he had committed big crime.

    Mohammed, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:11 October 8, 2013

    @hamid i agree with you this guy need more punishment.

    Md Sarfaraz, Dubai, India

  6. Added 15:59 October 8, 2013

    Execution or stiffer punishment. 30 years and 2000 lashes or more for this monster of a man.

    hamid, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:48 October 8, 2013

    I don't understand how torturing and killing an innocent child deserved less punishment compared to the man just simply dancing naked on his car roof?

    Naveen, Kent, United Kingdom

  8. Added 15:36 October 8, 2013

    This sentence is shocking and ironic, this inhuman guy needs to be given a example punishment , 8 years does no justice to the innocent life he has taken.

    Ahmed Wajeeh Kamal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 15:26 October 8, 2013

    So it means that dancing naked in saudi is far more serious offence compared to killing and torturing your own daughter???????? - 8 years in jail, 800 lashes and 500k for killing and torture - 10 years in jail, 2000 lashes and 1m for dancing naked in public

    vince, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:58 October 8, 2013

    Condemnation is too little, any penalty does not fulfill the justice. This is a case beyond any violation. I personally pray for Luma's soul to be rested in peace, The innocent angel left us in situation where no one could help her. May she live in Heavens.

    Arif, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  11. View more comments

News Editor's choice
Gulf weather