(Dammam -Aafaq – Special) - A young Saudi woman is appealing for assistance in having her infant child restored to her. In a letter she sent to Aafaq, Shouk Alshammary, said that her life and the life of her infant daughter are in jeopardy, and has asked that her message and appeal be delivered to human rights organizations and defenders of women, motherhood and children, in all quarters of the world, and of all religious faiths. [Full Story in Arabic]
She is the daughter of Saudi human rights activist Sheikh Mekhlef bin Daham Alshammary, one of the sheikhs of the Shammar tribe. In her letter to Aafaq she recounts how she was mistreated by her husband and his family. They deprived her of her two-month old infant daughter; they beat and tortured her, with knives and electricity, and by deprivation of food, drink and health care, to prevent her from disclosing information she had about the killing of a woman in which members of her husband's family were involved. They forced her to sign and stamp documents that she had not read with the prints of her hands.
When she sought relief, and the return of her infant in the court of the city of Hafr Al-Batin, she found that she was the victim of conspiracies among judges of the court, who were spiteful toward her father, Sheikh Mekhlef, because of his association with Shi'ite clerics. And her husband, contesting the return of the infant, subjected her father to sectarian and ethnic slurs and insults in the presence of the judge. She wrote in the letter, "I was expelled from the court because my father appeared in a picture with a Shi'ite citizen, and therefore they were spiteful toward me and took revenge on me, and expelled me and I lost my nerves and attempted suicide." After she was expelled from the court in great mental distress, she writes, the Hafr Al-Batin police and her husband's family connived in untruthfully accusing her of trying to attack the police department, causing her to be imprisoned by the judges for 50 days, until her innocence was established and she was released.
She still has not had her infant daughter returned to her, and the case has been appealed to the Appellate Court in Riyadh. She fears for her own physical and mental health, and the health f her infant. "I am still suffering the effects of torture and beatings ... If I do not die of this I will kill myself out of sorrow for my infant. Are these sheikhs of religion applying Islam with me – no, by God they are torturing me out of their hatred for my father."
Shouk Alshammary concludes her letter with the plea, "Can I find someone in this earth who can help me? You who call for mercy and compassion among Muslims ... Will one of the human rights organizations help me? I feel that I will die, I and my infant, the result of this torture that we have been subjected to, and if we die, it will be a black mark and scar on the whole of humanity, and on human rights and Muslim and Christian and Jewish rights organizations."