Stock Crime
A six-year-old Syrian girl who was publicly subjected to brutal treatment by her father in a camp in Idlib countryside has died. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: A six-year-old Syrian girl, who was publicly subjected to brutal treatment by her father in a camp in Idlib countryside, has died causing uproar on social media with thousands expressing their grief.

The cause of death is believed to be asphyxiation while eating, according to a report issued by the medical center near Faraj Allah Camp in the northern countryside of Idlib, in which the child resides with her father, but activists and people working in the medical field accused him of being behind her death.

Nahla Othman's father, Essam Abdelqader Othman, is an operative in Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS, formerly Al Nusra Front), and Nahla stayed with him after her mother’s divorce during which she was tied to an iron chain for five months.

Brutal life

Local media reported that the girl’s father used to treat her badly, and attributed the silence of camp residents over shackling the child to fear of reprisals from her father.

The story of the girl raised shock among Syrian activists and journalists, as they expressed, on social media, their shock at the “details of the brutal life” imposed by her father in the past months.

Activists published photos of the child playing in the camp with iron chains tied around one of her hands, as she was standing near a car inside the camp.

According to well-informed sources, police force of the Interim Government arrested the girl’s father pending investigation, and the police also summoned residents of the camp to record their testimonies.

Sources also said that the child was healthy and intelligent, and does not suffer from any mental illness or conditions such as autism. They explained that Nahla was suffering from phobias due to inhumane treatment by her father, pointing out that there was no confirmed information about whether the stepmother treated the child in a bad way.

Bad treatment

Nahla was suffering from bad treatment by her father, to the extent that she bathed only once a month, according to the same source.

The girl’s father hails from the town of Kafr Sijnah in the southern countryside of Idlib, and his ex-wife (Nahla’s mother) had fled to Turkey due to being mistreated.

Similar crimes have taken place in Syria early this year. In April, the police in Jinderes district in the countryside of Afrin, north of Aleppo, found a girl of about two years old with bruises on her head, and arrested her mother and her husband, who confessed to the crime.