Bahraini man gets one-year sentence after brutally beating ex-wife

Bahraini man gets one-year sentence after brutally beating ex-wife
A man has been jailed for one year after shocking footage was released of brutal injuries he had caused to his ex-wife.
2 min read
05 October, 2017
A video showing Zahra Sobhy's injuries sent shockwaves across the Gulf [Getty]

A Bahraini man who brutally beat his Syrian ex-wife was sentenced on Tuesday to one year in jail, Bahraini media outlets reported.

The woman, 32-year-old Zahra Sobhy, made headline news in the Gulf last month when images of her battered and bruised face were widely shared on social media.

The images, which showed the mother-of-five's swollen eyelids which had turned purple, sparked outrage in Bahrain and its neighbouring countries.

Sobhy was transferred to hospital for treatment for her injuries, which included a concussion and severe haemorrhages.

She released a video from hospital in which she pleaded for help from authorities.

Her ex-husband, 52-year-old Adnan al-Alawi, handed hiself into police shortly after the video was released. 

Evidence during his trial was taken from Sobhy and one of her children, who attested to their father's acts of domestic violence.

The pair had still been living together despite having ended their marriage in June.

Sobhy's ordeal has once again raised questions about women's legal protections from domestic violence in Arab countries.

According to a 2017 study by PROMUNDO, a Brazil-based non-profit focussing on gender equality, between 10-45 percent of married and divorced men in four Arab countries reported being physically violent to a female partner.

The Arab countries were Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian territories.

In recent years, efforts to tackle gender-based violence in the region have brought some success, though progress remains slow.

This year, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon scrapped legal provisions that previously allowed rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims.

Earlier this week, the United Nations called upon Arab states to analyse the economic damage caused by violence against women, as part of a drive to promote policy change in a region where gender-based violence remains a taboo.