Rakan, despite the horrors he endured at his parents’ hands, says he does not want to see either his father or mother punished. Image Credit: Courtesy: Okaz

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.