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Court Releases Saudi Preacher Who Beat His 5-Year-Old Daughter To Death For Doubting Her Virginity

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A court in Saudi Arabia has dropped the charges of manslaughter and s*xual assault against the father of Luma, the 5-year-old daughter he had beaten to death in 2011. His sentence was reduced to only the charge of ‘excessive disciplining that resulted in death’. According to Saudi Daily Al Sharq, the decision was taken after no trace of semen was found on her body. 

Luma’s case became widely known in 2012 when details emerged of how she was tortured by her father during a visit to him and his new wife. Reports said that the father used wires and an iron rod to punish his daughter after he had expressed doubts about her virginity. Luma died after four months in coma and was not buried for another four months pending the investigation and the autopsy procedures.

In 2013, a court in Hawtat Bani Tamim, 160 kilometres south of the capital Riyadh, sentenced Al Gamdi to eight years in prison and 800 lashes and his second wife to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes for not reporting the torture inflicted on Luma. However, following an appeal, Al Gamdi’s sentence was reduced to four years and then, after a new challenge, to three years.Luma’s divorced mother, an Egyptian national, 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.