Cairo: An Egyptian baby died of hunger after his parents left him alone at home following a disagreement between them, provoking an outcry in the country.
The father of the four-month-baby told police he had been away at work for several days and when he returned home in the province of Qaliubia, north of Cairo, he discovered the baby’s death, local media said Wednesday. The father, 28, accused his estranged wife of deadly negligence.
Police investigations revealed that a heated argument had erupted between the man and his wife earlier this month, prompting the 24-year-old woman to leave for her family’s house. The father, meanwhile, left for work where he stayed for four straight days, leaving the baby unattended to.
The parents were arrested and are being kept in custody pending questioning.
Their act has brought them under sharp criticism. “What they did will be a reason for them to be condemned to hell in the Hereafter,” Mabrouk Attia, a professor of Islamic Sharia code at Al Azhar University said. “Whatever the level of obstinacy between any married couple, it should not affect their child who is supposed to be dearer to them than themselves,” he added in media remarks.
An official at a pro-child agency accused the two parents of deliberately killing their baby, saying they could face death penalty.
“Both the father and the mother bear joint responsibility for the child’s death,” added Sabri Othman, the head of a helpline at the state Council for Motherhood and Childhood.