Call for tougher punishments

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Activists in Saudi Arabia are calling for harsher punishments for child abuse after reports that a prominent cleric received only a light sentence after confessing to beating his five-year-old daughter to death.

Saudi media reports said Fayhan al-Ghamdi was arrested in November on charges of killing the girl. The reports said he questioned the child’s virginity.

He was reportedly freed last week after serving a short prison term and agreeing to pay the equivalent of £32,000 in “blood money” to avoid a possible death sentence. The money was presumably offered to the girl’s relatives.