RIYADH: Saudi public prosecutors have called for a tougher sentence to be imposed on a female health worker given five years in prison and a SR100,000 ($27,000) fine for assaulting infants.
The court that handed down the sentence had been told that the children were in the woman’s care at a neonatal custody department in the Kingdom when the attacks took place.
An official source from the Saudi Public Prosecution service, which has appealed the sentencing, revealed that the woman had been caught on CCTV footage using “grave force and violence on the body of an infant without regard for the prescribed medical controls and standards … as well as the three-fold assault on the face of a newborn.”
Nadia Alsaif, former president of the Scientific Society for Child Welfare, told Arab News: “The health and psychological effects on abused infants are painful and unfortunately long term.
“Exposing an infant to violence at a time when it is most necessary for them to feel physically and psychologically safe is an offense against the victim as they need safety, intensive care, and attention that helps him or her develop properly.
“Neglect and violence inhibit growth and may cause hidden biological injuries that do not appear externally, and may appear later,” she said.
Alsaif, a member of the National Family Safety Program board, noted that the program aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of shaking infants which could cause brain damage, adding that the highest standards of health and safety needed to be applied when dealing with very young children.
The Saudi Human Rights Commission recently implemented a training program to highlight the basic rights of children.