DUBAI The family of a man who allegedly tortured and killed his eight-year-old daughter before dumping her body in the desert has called for his execution. The parents and siblings of Hamad, 27, a jobless Emirati and the prime suspect in the death of his daughter Wadeema, said he must face the gallows.
Dubai Police found Wadeema’s remains near Al Fayah, a village off the Hatta-Oman road earlier this week following a complaint filed by Mohammad, 29, the suspect’s eldest brother.
What he [Hamad] did was horrible. The whole family does not want to see him anymore. We are calling for the maximum penalty — death
Hamad, a former government employee who lost his job due to an unspecified offence, is third in a brood of seven. In an exclusive interview with XPRESS at the family’s five-bedroom villa in upscale Barsha 3 in New Dubai, the suspect’s parents said they want to see their son face capital punishment.
Hamad’s father Saud, 52, a former government employee, said: “This is not a simple matter. The family has made a decision. I want him [Hamad] executed.” His wife Aida told XPRESS: “We seek the maximum punishment for this crime.”
Mohammad, the suspect’s eldest brother, said: “What he [Hamad] did was horrible. The whole family does not want to see him anymore. We are calling for the maximum penalty — death.”
LIFE OF ABUSE
Sordid details of a life of abuse allegedly endured by the two girls at the hands of their father and his live-in partner were shared with XPRESS by the family on Tuesday as they welcomed visitors offering condolences in the family’s villa where the girls also spent part of their lives.
Aida, the victim’s paternal grandmother, described Wadeema as “mild tempered”. “They preferred to keep to themselves. Wadeema and Meera did not like to play around. They preferred to do house work, they cooked and cleaned at a tender age.”
She said the travails of the young girls apparently started when Hamad came to his parents’ house in December to pick up his daughters. “At that time, Hamad claimed he needed the girls to come with him to testify in court against their mother,” said Aida.
Hamad divorced his wife in 2006 but the children were caught in a custody battle. “Wadeema begged me not to allow them to be handed back to their father. I let them go because as a grandmother, I thought that the girls must go to a school their father chose for them, and because of the court hearing,” the matriarch said. Before the girls left, Aida said she had lectured her son: “I told him ‘they are your daughters, treat them with kindness. Girls are not like the boys’.”
The grandparents were made custodians of the children.
“But then when the children were sent to live with us, their mother claimed we kidnapped the children and the police took the children back to their mother,” said Aida, adding the mother later abandoned Meera outside their house without letting them know.
On the night of May 30, Mohammad went to Hamad’s flat at the International City upon the insistence of Aida to check the girls. At that time, Hamad was already detained by Fujairah police for another offence.
Mohammad heard Meera inside crying for help. She was alone in the flat, which was locked. When Mohammad phoned Hamad’s live-in partner, he was disturbed by her answer. “She told me that everything was fine but refused to come to International City to open the door.”
Disturbed by the hysterical crying of his niece, Mohammad desperately tried all the keys he had with him to open the main door. Luckily, one key worked. What he saw was shocking. Meera had wounds all over her body.
“It was the first time I talked to Meera in many months,” said Mohammad who decided to take his niece to Abu Dhabi where he lives. “During the drive, Meera told me that Wadeema was wrapped by her father after she lost consciousness, taken out of the house and never came back,” he said. Shocked by her revelation, he turned his car back, drove to Rashidiya Police station and lodged a complaint.
The family believes that Hamad’s live-in partner, who is a childhood friend of the girls’ mother (Salma), also tortured the girls. The live-in partner is also in police custody.
The family alleged that the live-in partner sent text messages to Salma in the past stating she would treat her children badly.
In March, at a family gathering in Khor Fakkan, Hamad appeared with his live-in partner and Meera.
The suspect’s maternal uncle, Hammad Mohammad Salman, 42, said: “When we asked him about Wadeema, he said she was with her mother. And we believed him.”
The family believes Wadeema had been dead for at least three months. Other family members also insisted on capital punishment for both Hamad and his live-in partner.
Saeed, 28, the second-eldest brother of the accused, said: “I cannot believe a person can do something so horrible. If found guilty, he must face justice, death.”
“We want him to pay with his life for his crime; he has no right to be in this world,” Hamad’s younger brother Hamdan, 18, said. “I would never visit him in jail. He deserves to die,” he added.
On Tuesday, Dubai Attorney General Essam Eisa Al Humaidan said the investigation was expected to conclude on Wednesday and the suspect had been questioned.
Dr Raymond H. Hamden, PhD (USA), Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, said, “We’re looking at a scenario that could be quite difficult for her [Meera] because foster homes don’t provide the kind of nurturing needed to raise a child to be connected. The child may feel orphaned and may have no sense of belonging. To have watched her sibling die may make her feel helpless....unless she’s sponsored by the government and placed in an international facility with appropriate learning conditions. Neglect can make a child grow up with a fear of being rejected. She needs to be placed in an environment where she learns that she’s done nothing wrong, that it was not her fault.”