That's a five-year-old child. Hugh Tomlinson in the Times (£):
Lama al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital in the town of Hotat Bani Tamim in November with a crushed skull, broken back and shattered ribs. Social workers said that she had been repeatedly raped and her body burnt.
Her father, Fayhan al-Ghamdi, admitted using a cane and electric cable to inflict the wounds after doubting the child’s virginity. The cleric is something of a celebrity in the ultra-conservative kingdom, appearing regularly on television to discuss correct religious observance and social affairs....
Confusion still surrounds the case. Reports last week claimed that the cleric had been freed from jail after paying £31,000 in blood money to Ms Hamadari. Albawaba News in Jordan quoted the judge in the case as having said: “Blood money and the time the defendant has served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment.”
But the Saudi Justice Ministry responded with a statement saying that the cleric was still in prison and that the case was continuing. Ms Hamadari confirmed that another hearing was set for tomorrow, with Lama’s stepmother appearing as a witness to the murder.
Sources in Riyadh said that the kingdom’s ruling family had been stung by the outrage over the case. Senior members of the Royal Family are believed to have intervened to make sure that a stronger sentence is upheld, although the death penalty is thought to be unlikely.
Of course. The death penalty is largely reserved for foreign domestic servants - not for a famous and much-admired cleric.
The Saudi religious establishment provoked further incredulity last week when another cleric was quoted calling for female babies to wear Islamic veils to deter child molesters.
Citing Saudi medical and security officials, Sheikh Abdullah Daoud said that child abuse was rife within the kingdom and that babies should be dressed more conservatively. “Whenever the girl is an object of desire, the parents have a duty to cover her up with a hijab,” he said.
Yep. Saudi society is rotting from the head down.