STOCKHOLM: The eldest son of the Malaysian couple in Sweden, who are on trial for allegedly hitting their children, said a rotan was used to keep his siblings in line like slaves.
“It’s like they’re controlling us with that thing. And we want to get rid of it,” said Ammar, 12, in a pre-recorded interview, played in Solna district court, here.
“They think they’re the slave masters and we’re the slaves,” he added.
Upon hearing this, his mother Shalwati Nurshal was seen pursing her lips and crossing her arms.
Shalwati and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin were detained on Dec 18 last year after Ammar told school staff that he had been hit, leading them to report the matter to the authorities.
The policewoman asked Ammar to explain what the stick used for beating his siblings was called, to which he replied it was a rotan in Malay, though he didn’t know if it had an English name.
While his seven-year-old brother, Arif, struggled to describe the rotan, calling it “stick with a knot”, Ammar vividly explained it as a “yellowing stick, made of wood or bamboo, that’s kind of bendy and about half a metre long,”
During the interview, the policewoman asked Ammar if the rotan had any other use, like how a hanger that was used to beat was actually meant to hang clothes.
“It’s used to hit things,” affirmed Ammar.
“I think it’s for teaching. In Malaysia, she (Shalwati) uses it when teaching the Quran. When I make many mistakes, she would hit me or smack the ground,” he said.
When asked by the policewoman how Ammar knew his siblings were being beaten, Ammar said his younger brothers would “share their pain” but admitted his elder sister, Aishah, was more reserved.
Shalwati’s lawyer, Kristofer Stahre, later told reporters that what Ammar said did not match other pieces of evidence from the case.
“He mentions a lot of things that others have allegedly seen, the problem is when you talk to other witnesses, they cannot confirm story,” said the Swedish lawyer.
Stahre added that Shalwati was looking forward to giving her testimony and explaining her version of the events.
“She denies the charges and she is of the opinion that the children today are not telling the truth or exaggerating events or telling about things that happened in other countries where the upbringing or the rules and traditions of Malaysian people and Malaysian laws is applied and allowed,” he said.
On Feb 10, Shalwati and Azizul were charged with multiple counts of gross violation of a child’s integrity, by hitting and abusing their children.
The alleged offences took place in the family’s home in Spnga, a Stockholm suburb, between Sept 15, 2010 and Dec 17, 2013.
The trial continues on Monday.
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