A prominent Saudi Arabian preacher who raped his 5-year-old daughter before torturing her to death has been spared a death sentence or even a lengthy prison term after agreeing to pay "blood money" to the slain girl's mother.
Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a former drug addict who rose to national prominence as an Islamic television preacher, was arrested last November and charged with brutally raping and torturing 5-year-old Lama al-Ghamdi to death. According to a medical report, the little girl had been tortured with whips, electric shocks and an iron. She had broken arms, a broken back and a fractured skull. She died on October 22.
According to social worker Randa al-Kaleeb, Lama had been raped "everywhere." Hospital staff told the girl's mother that her "daughter's rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed," Agence France-Presse reports.
It wasn't the first time that al-Ghamdi abused his daughter. Last April, he was accused of torturing her so badly that her skull was fractured and she sustained brain damage.
Al-Ghamdi was jailed for a short period, but the judge ruled that the prosecution could only seek to compel him to pay "blood money" to Lama's mother. That, combined with time served, led to the killer's freedom.
In Saudi Arabia, a US ally, people are executed by public beheading for apostasy (renouncing Islam), blasphemy, witchcraft, sorcery, adultery, homosexuality and prostitution. But under the strict brand of Islamic law practiced in the kingdom, men cannot be executed for killing their wives or children.