Wednesday 22 October 2008 (23 Shawwal 1429)
Father prevents girls from going to school
Hayat Al-Ghamdi | Arab News
ABHA: A Saudi father has been preventing his four daughters from
continuing their education and leaving their home ever since he divorced their
mother four years ago, the mother charged yesterday.
The man has also denied the woman visitation rights granted by the court.
"I have not seen my daughters for three years now," Amina, the mother, told
"Despite the existence of human rights organizations in the Kingdom, my
daughters have been prevented from continuing their education, which is a
God-given right. I was also deprived of my legal right to see them," she said.
The father, an employee of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, has been
in jail in Khamis Mushayt since the beginning of September for refusing to
implement a court verdict which granted his divorced wife the right to see
their daughters during the summer break.
Amina said she had told the judge at the court hearing that her former
husband had been preventing her daughters from going to school but the judge
refused to issue an order saying that he had no jurisdiction over the matter
and that she should take the case to the civil rights authorities.
The father, whose identity was not disclosed, claimed that he stopped his
daughters from going to school because "the eldest was a failure and the second
a pervert who would stain his honor if he allowed her to go out."
The General Court in Khamis Mushayt issued a ruling asking the father to
allow his daughters to spend the school vacation with their mother. The court
also asked the girls to spend the nights in their grandfather's house because
their mother is now married.
The judge gave the woman custody of the couple's 7-year-old son after he
chose to live with her. "When my ex-husband refused to abide by the court
ruling, I complained to the Asir Governorate in June. When he persisted in his
rejection of the ruling, the authorities put him in jail," she said.
The mother, who now lives in Makkah with her new husband, said after her
ex-husband's jailing that their uncle was taking care of the girls, but he too
refused to allow them to continue their education.
She said the uncle started beating her daughters asking them to tell
their mother to waive her complaint against their father so that he would be
released from prison.
Amina said she sent a letter to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) seeking
its intervention, but all what it did was to write a letter to the Civil Rights
Department to implement the court verdict concerning her visitation rights
without mentioning anything about the question of the girls' education.