Saudi father 'brutally beats and tortures' newborn daughter

Saudi father 'brutally beats and tortures' newborn daughter
Social media users in Saudi Arabia have saved a newborn baby from her abusive father after a video of him torturing her went viral in the kingdom.
2 min read
12 January, 2017
Police in Mecca announced that they had arrested the abusive father [Getty]
A horrific video showing a father brutally beating his newborn daughter has caused shock and dismay in Saudi Arabia.

The video shows the father, identified in Saudi media as Ahmed Basim Haraka, strangling and slapping the newborn across the face to spite his ex-wife.

Nariman Kallas, a Syrian resident in Saudi Arabia told Al-Arabiya TV that she had suffered four years of domestic abuse at the hands of her former husband and his family, and was only granted a divorce after she agreed to relinquish custody over the girl to the father.

However, Haraka started sending his ex-wife videos of himself torturing the newborn girl, threatening to increase the torture if she does not get back together with him, she said.

The mother shared the videos on Twitter to expose the abusive father and seek help from the public and authorities, creating uproar online.

Saudi social media users quickly launched an online awareness campaign using an Arabic-language hashtag that means "a mother wants her baby in her embrace" to ensure the father was brought to justice.

"A scene that brings shivers to my spine. The most severe punishment must be handed out and him and people like him," said one user.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development on Wednesday said it had located the abused newborn and taken her into the care of protective services, where she will undergo a medical examination.

A video of the young victim was later shared on social media, showing her babbling and smiling in the safe arms of a female social worker to the relief of many online.

"Thank God the baby has been returned to her mother by a military guard," said one Twitter user.

Police in Mecca announced on Wednesday evening that they had arrested the abusive father.