Jail term extended for girl’s killer kin

Amani Madi.
Amani Madi.

Amani Madi.

The uncle of a Palestinian girl beaten to death by his wife in April 2014 had his sentence extended on Wednesday from six years to 14 years, Aftonbladet newspaper reported.

Yara Al-Najjar, an eight-year-old girl seeking refuge from Gaza in Sweden, was beaten to death with a rolling pin, reported Al Arabiya website. In February, Swedish courts gave Amani Madi, the wife of Yara’s uncle, a life sentence.

His sentence was amended to include aggravated assault, as well as the previous charges of negligence and failing to act when Yara was being beaten. They each have to pay 75,000 Swedish kronor ($9,000) in compensation to Yara’s parents.

Lennart Svensäter, the Supreme Court’s chief judge, said the uncle “must have understood that such an extensive beating of a little girl could lead to death. By not intervening, he made himself guilty of murder.”

The uncle’s lawyers said he admitted to being present during the fatal assault, but had told his wife to calm down when he saw her chasing Yara with the rolling pin.

Yara’s mother Madleen broke down several times during the court proceedings, calling her brother and his wife “murderers” and “animals.”

Yara’s parents’ counselor said: “For them, there’s no punishment that’s enough. They can never get Yara back.” Her parents had sent Yara to live with her uncle and his wife in Karlskrona, Sweden, to protect her from violence in Gaza after a bomb went off in her school and left her traumatized.

The first paramedic to arrive at the murder scene said it was “the worst thing” he had ever seen in his 35-year career. The autopsy found old fractures, so Swedish police assume that at the very least she was beaten throughout the spring of 2014.


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