Father regains custody of twins from abusive ex-wife

July 23, 2018
Joury and Joud in the safe hands of Saleh Al-Ghamdi, director of the National Society of Human Rights in Jeddah.
Joury and Joud in the safe hands of Saleh Al-Ghamdi, director of the National Society of Human Rights in Jeddah.

By Adnan Al-Shabrawi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Labor and Social Development removed two infants from the custody of their mother after a viral video showed her abusing them.

The ministry said the video was recorded and posted by the mother herself. The ministry immediately interfered and took the seven-month-old twins to a hospital in Jeddah for a medical check-up. The mother was subsequently arrested.

The video showed the mother choking one of the babies until her face turned pale. She then took the other baby and threw her to the ground head down.

Officials then handed young Joury and Joud to the custody of a relative of the father, who has been allowed to keep in touch with the relative to ensure the girls' welfare.

The father of the infants said he had divorced their mother. He said his ex-wife abused the infants to take revenge on him for divorcing her.

“My ex-wife recorded the video and sent it to my mother in Yemen. My mother was shocked so she sent the video to me. What my daughters went through was horrific. My ex-wife is crazy and extremely violent. We were married only for a year. I got the divorce after she abused me and humiliated me several times. Life with her was unbearable,” said the father.

He added that she had made impossible demands of him. He said could not meet her demands because he was Yemeni national who had lately lost his job and his residency documents expired.

“She had called me asking to come and take the girls or else she would throw them out the window. I tried to calm her down to gain time. Thankfully, the authorities got to her and I knew then my daughters would be in safe hands,” said the distraught father.

He added that the people on social media had been offering to adopt the girls.

“I am not letting go of my daughters. If those people really want to help, then they can help provide for them and help me make them a safe and stable home,” said the father.

Saleh Al-Ghamdi, director of the National Society of Human Rights in Jeddah, said the society had been following up the case of Joury and Joud.

“We made sure they are taken care of at the hospital and we left two experts from our society to be with them 24/7,” said Al-Ghamdi.

Legal consultant Nujoud Qassim said people convicted of domestic abuse faced a month to a year in prison and a fine of up to SR50,000.

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