Kalkilya couple charged for jailing girl 11 years

Father, stepmother allegedly locked daughter up in bathroom, forced her to cook, clean; asked her to kill herself.

Domestic violence battered woman abuse 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Domestic violence battered woman abuse 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Central District Attorney’s Office served an indictment on Tuesday against a Palestinian couple from the West Bank city of Kalkilya, alleging they kept their daughter locked in a bathroom for 11 years, beat her and suggested she kill herself.
The indictment, served by attorney Eliana Danieli in the Central District Court in Petah Tikva, charges both defendants with false imprisonment, abuse of a minor and attempting to persuade the complainant to commit suicide.
The couple were arrested and remanded in custody earlier this month, after Palestinian police visited the family’s house and discovered the complainant, known only as B. and now aged 21, in the bathroom.
According to the indictment, the abuse began in 2000, when the first defendant, B.’s father, divorced B.’s birth mother. As a result of the divorce, the first defendant, identified only as H., gained custody of the then 11-yearold B. and the two went to live with the second defendant, his current wife and B.’s stepmother, in village Nabi Elias, east of Kalkilya.
The indictment charges that B.’s father allegedly prevented B. from attending school, locked her in the bathroom and refused to allow her to see anyone, including her birth mother. Both the defendants allegedly forced B. to live in inhumane conditions, giving her a single blanket to cover herself while she slept on the bathroom floor.
At some stage, the family moved to live in Kalkilya. At first, the defendants allegedly kept B. in a room with boarded windows, such that the child could not see or hear anything outside her makeshift prison. Soon after, the family moved to another home and they again incarcerated B. in the bathroom, according to the indictment.
In all three houses, the defendants allegedly forced B. to remain incarcerated all day and released her only for a few hours after midnight, when they forced B. to wash, cook and undertake household chores, threatening to kill her if she refused.
The indictment also alleges that the second defendant, B.’s stepmother, would ask H. to leave his razor out in the bathroom for B., so that the girl could kill herself. B.’s stepmother is also alleged to have encouraged H. to beat B., including with a stick, and by smashing her head against a sink.
When Palestinian police discovered B., she was covered in bruises and had a broken front tooth, cigarette burns and needle marks all over her body, the indictment charges.
Alongside the indictments, the Central District Attorney’s Office filed a request that the two defendants be remanded for the duration of the legal proceedings against them.