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Published: Thursday February 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday February 20, 2014 MYT 8:00:47 PM

Son of Malaysian couple on trial in Sweden relates punishment in video

STOCKHOLM: The eldest son of Azizul Raheem Awalluddin and Shalwati Nurshal, who are on trial for allegedly abusing their children in Sweden, claimed that he was beaten “over 1,000” times in a year.

In a video recorded by the police last December, Ammar said his mother Shalwati often beat him when he talked back, stomped his feet or watched YouTube videos instead of joining the family for dinner.

Shalwati and her husband Azizul, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stock­holm, are facing their second day of trial in the Solna District Court over charges of beating their children.

Ammar appeared nervous at the beginning of the video. When asked if his parents would find out about the interview, he said: “I predict after this, my parents wouldn’t like me, wouldn’t love me. I’m worried my parents will smack me if they find out I’m not in school.”

The interview was conducted by the police during school hours, with the permission of the assistant headmaster.

Ammar described three incidents when he was beaten: once when he played music loudly while he was supposed to be doing homework, the second was during a car ride to school when he fought with his sister Aishah and the third was while he was studying the Quran with his mother.

Shalwati and Azizul looked grim while watching the interview with Shalwati biting her lip and her husband lowering his head and rubbing the bridge of his nose.

When asked if his siblings were hit, Ammar claimed all his siblings were occasionally hit, though he was the one who bore the brunt of it.

However, Ammar mentioned several times that he “deserved the spankings”, saying he was usually beaten when he did something wrong. When asked who decided that he deserved it, Ammar replied that it was his own decision.

(L-R) Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, lawyer Timo Manninen, and Malaysia's Ambassador to Sweden Datuk Badruddin Abdul Rahman discussing outside the court before the trial of the Malaysian parents charged with abusing their children. Manninen will be holding a watching brief for the Malaysian Tourism.Photo and caption by Qishin Tariq Albasrawy
Deep in discussion: (From left) Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, lawyer Timo Manninen and Malaysia’s Ambassador to Sweden Datuk Badruddin Abdul Rahman outside the court before the trial.

This prompted the policewoman to say that regardless of what a child may do, they cannot be hit as it is the law in Sweden.

Sweden has outlawed corporal punishment since 1979. Those found guilty of breaking the law could face up to six years in prison.

On Tuesday, Shalwati and Azizul’s youngest son Arif was the first to appear as a witness in the trial testifying against his parents.

The eight-year-old appeared shy during the interview in a similar pre-recorded video, speaking softly and rarely looking at the policewoman interviewing him.

Arif often said “it’s hard to explain” and “say again” when he appeared confused, prompting police to ask him the same questions repeatedly or in different ways.

Lawyer Johan Kallus, who represents Arif and Ammar, speaking with reporters about the claims being made on the behalf of his clients against their parents.photo by: Qishin Tariq
Lawyer Johan Kallus is representing Arif and Ammar.

At one point, when asked how speaking to the police about his parents made him feel, Arif simply answered “weird”.

The police quizzed Arif about the alleged abuses against him and why his parents might have hit him.

Arif said his father had pinched him on the arms while his mother had hit him with a hanger and a “stick with a knot at the end”.

Prosecutor Anna Arnell presented the “stick” to the court, revealing it was a rotan (whip), about one-half foot long.

She also produced a carpet beater, which was alleged to be used to hit the children.

On Feb 10, Shalwati and Azizul were charged with multiple counts of gross violation of a child’s integrity.

The trial continues today.

Tags / Keywords: Courts, Sweden, Child abuse, Malaysian couple, Shalwati Nurshal, Azizul Raheem Awalluddin

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