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A Saudi couple has been accused of pouring scalding water on their 9-year-old son as a punishment for "wetting himself".
The steaming hot water has caused severe burns all over the child's body. The couple has allegedly subjected the child to a series of other tortures for "being disobedient".
The incident was brought to light after the neighbours of the family lodged a complaint. A formal complaint has been launched against the parents at the Jeddah Social Protection Committee (JSPC). The complaint says the victim has suffered a lot under "his own merciless parents".
The authorities had summoned both the father and the son in order to further investigate the incident.
"The boy was literally in a pitiful condition. A social worker and a psychiatrist saw him and decided to refer him to the hospital for treatment and medical check-up," JSPC chairman Salih al-Ghamdi told Saudi Gazette, a local daily.
According to the initial investigation, the parents had gone to such an extent that they wanted to somehow get rid of the child. Neither his health nor education was taken care of, suggest reports. The couple has five more children, but it is not clear whether others are also subjected to similar treatment.
"He pours hot water or hot tea and [stubs me with cigerattes.] He also beats me up every day even when I do nothing. No one rushes to help me or treat me when I get burned," the nine-year old told the local daily al Medina.
The victim also told that his parents used to lock him up inside a room for days together.
"This is a criminal act, which should not go unpunished. They should be punished," added al-Ghamdi.
There has been an increase in incidents involving domestic violence in recent times in the kingdom, suggest local rights groups. Al-Ghamdi says JSPC receives anywhere between 25 and 30 cases of domestic violence involving children and women in the region every month.