Family of 6 in court for confining woman member for 8 years

Dubai: A 26-year-old woman student had been locked up in a bedroom and constantly beaten up by her six other family members for eight years, a court heard on Tuesday.

Her Jordanian father, mother, three sisters and brother had allegedly assaulted her and never allowed her to leave the residence since 2009, according to records.

The student took advantage of the fact that her mother was outside the country, according to records, when her 15-year-old sister assisted her in running away from the house.

The student rushed to the nearest police station where she reported to the duty officer that she had been kept under house arrest [by her mother, two sisters and brother] and deprived of her personal freedom.

The victim told the police that following a dispute with her family, her mother ordered her two sisters and brother to keep her confined in the bedroom and not let her go out. She also claimed that she was beaten up constantly and provided with limited meals while being confined against her will in the house.

Primary police investigation revealed the involvement of six members of the family — the father, the mother, three sisters and a brother.

The case was referred to the Family and Juveniles Prosecution.

Prosecutors accused the mother, two sisters and a brother of locking the student up and constantly beating her. The father and one of the sisters were accused of failing to report the crime [confinement] to the authorities.

Five of the suspects failed to attend their hearing before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Tuesday.

The father was the only suspect who was present in courtroom three and addressed presiding judge Mohammad Jamal by saying: “The claimant told me earlier that she will come and drop her complaint … but now she came and told me that she does not want to waive her complaint.”

Meanwhile, presiding judge Jamal said the case would be referred to another court for jurisdictional purposes.

The 26-year-old student told prosecutors that her dispute with her family started in 2009.

“Since then, my mother has constantly kept me locked up inside my bedroom. She put locks on the windows and the door as well. They deprived me of my freedom and never let me go out. They also used to beat me … my brother also used a taser gun on me. A sister beat me with a stick. When my mother used to travel, she used to sent instructions over the phone to my sisters and brother to keep me locked and assault me. In August 2017, my younger sister helped me run away and I reported the matter to the police,” she testified to prosecutors.

The 15-year-old sister confirmed the claimant’s statement and testified to prosecutors: “She constantly called us for help, but nobody assisted her because they were scared of my mother. I helped her run away when our mother was outside the country.”

A decision will be heard next week.

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