Feb 16, 2013, SAUDI ARABIA — Many in the Saudi community are outraged after hearing news that a father, who had raped and tortured his child to death, had been ordered to pay a mere $50,000 in “blood money” to the murdered child’s mother after having served a very lenient jail sentence.
Lama Al Ghamdi was only five-years-old when she was brought to a hospital on December 25, 2011 with horrific injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs, a broken left arm, extensive bruising and burns.
She died last October 22, 2012.
Randa Al Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said her back was broken and that she had been raped “everywhere”.
According to Lama’s mother, hospital staff told her that her “child’s rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed.”
The father, Fayhan Al Gamdi, who is also a Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim TV networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries to his daughter. When asked how he could do this to his own daughter al-Ghamdi said that he beat her after he began to doubt her virginity. He then brought her to be checked by medics who determined that the young girl had been raped repeatedly threw out her short life.
Lama’s mother, who is divorced from the father, continues to campaign to have her former husband executed, arguing that it is the proper Islamic punishment for his crime. However, al-Ghamdi has a reputation in the kingdom due to his frequent appearances on Muslim television networks, where he considers himself to be an expert of religious law and practices.
Reports have stated that the judge overseeing his case had ruled the prosecution could only seek “blood money and the time the father had served in jail would suffice” (blood money is still considered part of “Islamic Law.”)
This news quickly spread and angered many Saudis and others around the world.
The Justice Ministry quickly intervened, stressing that al-Ghamdi was still in custody.
In the mean time, anger over Lama’s brutal death has since turned to outrage over the possible release of her killer. Lama’s mother is planning to testify against her ex-husband in an attempt t push for a stricter punishment.