Swedish child abuse trial: I was beaten over 1,000 times a year, court hears

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014

A scene from the court. - EPA

STOCKHOLM: The eldest son of the Malaysian couple in Sweden, on trial for allegedly abusing their children, says he was beaten "over 1,000" times within a year.

In a video recorded by the Swedish police last December, and shown to the court on Wednesday, Ammar said his mother Shalwati Nurshal 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 Raheem Awalluddin, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, are facing their second day of trial in the Solna District Court, here, over charges of abusing their children.

Ammar, who appeared nervous at the beginning of the video, asked if his parents would find out about the interview.

"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," said Ammar (the interview was conducted by the police during school hours, with permission of the assistant headmaster).

Ammar described three incidents when he was beaten; once he played music loudly while he was supposed to do homework, during a drive to school when he fought with his sister Aishah and while he was studying the Al-Quran with his mother.

Shalwati and Azizul Raheem 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 most often hit.

However, Ammar mentioned several times that he "deserved the spankings", saying he was usually beaten when he did something wrong.

When asked who decided he deserved it, Ammar replied he decided he deserved it himself.

This prompted the policewoman to say that regardless of what a child had done, he could not be hit as it was the law in Sweden.

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

On Feb 10, Shalwati and Azizul Raheem 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 Spånga, a Stockholm suburb, between September 15, 2010 and December 17, 2013.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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