A father in Abu Dhabi who whipped his son to death because of his low school grades has been jailed for three years.
The man was found guilty of murdering his 12-year-old son by whipping him with an electrical cord until he lost consciousness.
A maid found the body of the boy, naked and covered in blood on the bathroom floor of the home. She phoned an ambulance but he died on his way to the hospital.
The man denied intentionally killing the boy, only admitting that he was trying to discipline him. The boy was allegedly too afraid to show his father his school grades because of fears of how he would react.
"He not only failed his exams, he also hid his certificate and lied to me. That is why I had to discipline him because he was not raised this way," he told the court.
The father was originally charged with inflicting a beating that led to death, but this was later changed to premeditated murder.
According to United Arab Emirates (UAE) law, most premeditated murder charges carry a sentence of three years or the death penalty if the victim's family seek it. The family chose not to seek the penalty, telling the court they accepted the father's claims he did not mean to kill the child.
However, according to The National, even if the family chose the death penalty for the father, he would have only faced a larger jail term as no parent may be killed in vengeance for the death of his or her child, according to the Maliki school of Fiqh - a school of religious laws which the UAE adheres to.
"If the blood relatives had asked for vengeance [a death sentence] the judge decides what other sentence, usually jail, should be given to the defendant instead," said lawyer Ali Al Abbadi.
"The law does not specify what should be issued in that case."