Lamia al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns, the activists said. She died on October 22, 2012.
Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim television networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group “Women to Drive” said in a statement.
They said the father had doubted Lama’s virginity and had her checked up by a medic.
Randa al-Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said the girl’s back was broken and that she had been raped “everywhere”, according to the group.
According to the victim’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 activists said that the judge had ruled the prosecution could only seek “blood money (compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law) and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment.”
Three Saudi activists, including Manal al-Sharif, have raised objections to the ruling.
The ruling is based on Islamic laws that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives.
A Court Orders Paralyzing a Man
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced to paralysis a Saudi man for a crime he committed when he was only 14-years-old.
The punishment, which was reportedly handed down to 24-year-old Ali al-Khawahir for stabbing his friend in the back 10 years ago, should not be carried out.
Khawahir will be paralysed from the waist down unless he pays 1m Saudi riyals (£177,000) in compensation to the victim.
Such practices are prohibited under international law and have no place in any society. Amnesty International condemned the punishment as “utterly shocking”.
A similar sentence of paralysis imposed in Saudi Arabia in 2010 is not known to have been carried out.
If implemented, the paralysis sentence would contravene the UN convention against torture and the principles of medical ethics adopted by the UN general assembly.
Ann Harrison, the Amnesty’s Middle East and north Africa deputy director, said: “Paralysing someone as punishment for a crime would be torture. That such a punishment might be implemented is utterly shocking, even in a context where flogging is frequently imposed as a punishment for some offences, as happens in Saudi Arabia.
“It is time the authorities in Saudi Arabia start respecting their international legal obligations and remove these terrible punishments from the law.”
Saudi courts regularly sentence people to forms of corporal punishment. In retribution cases, sentences have included eye-gouging, tooth extraction and death.
In such cases, the victim can demand the punishment be carried out, request financial compensation or grant a conditional or unconditional pardon.
Flogging is mandatory for a number of offences and can also be imposed at the discretion of judges as an alternative, or in addition to other punishments.
Thieves are often sentenced to amputation of the right hand, while “highway robbery” is punished by cross amputation – cutting off the right hand and the left foot.
As regards sentences that require the involvement of medical practitioners, activists say that these amount to torture and are against medical ethics and related international standards. Often doctors are required to examine victims before whipping, flogging or caning to assess their fitness prior to receiving the punishment, and to monitor victims during and after the punishment. Participation of doctors is also required in some States to perform amputation and the death penalty.