Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamist preacher in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes for raping and torturing his 5-year-old daughter to death last year.
The little girl, Lama, was admitted to a hospital in December 2011 with multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns reported the Agence France-Presse.
A social worker at the hospital said the girl’s back was broken and she had been raped “everywhere.” She died several months later.
Ghamdi had reportedly raped and tortured the child because he doubted her virginity.
Under Saudi Arabia’s law, fathers and husbands cannot be awarded the death sentence for murdering their children and wives. These crimes are punishable by five to 12 years in prison.
Ghamdi also has been ordered to give his ex-wife who is the girl’s mother, one million riyals ($270,000) in “blood money,” which is compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law.
Ghamdi’s second wife, who was accused of taking part in the crime, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes, a lawyer for the victim’s mother told the AFP.
The brutal crime was publicly condemned within Saudi Arabia and abroad. Human rights activists, such as Aziza al-Yousef, who had campaigned for a harsher jail sentence for Ghamdi were outraged by the “lenient” sentence.
“We are extremely disappointed,” she told the AFP. “He should have been jailed for life or executed to serve as an example.”
Another activist, Khuloud al-Fahd, who was shocked by Ghamdi’s punishment, said, “A few years ago, two burglars stole two sheep and were sentenced to five years in prison and lashes. How can a father who killed his daughter be condemned to such a light sentence?”