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Malaysians jailed for hitting kids in Sweden

Published: 28 Mar 2014 12:35 GMT+01:00

The pair, who were arrested last December and who have been held on remand since, were handed their convictions at the Solna district court in Stockholm on Friday. 

Shalwati Nurshal, the mother, was handed a fourteen month sentence while the father, Azizul Raheem Awalludin, was slapped with a ten month sentence.

"Even if the violence against the children has often been relatively minor, the offences which the district court concluded fall under the more serious charge of gross violation of integrity involved systematic and repeated violence," said the presiding judge, Mattias Möller, in a statement.

In court the mother was convicted of gross violation of the integrity of the daughter in the family and the eldest son, as well as the assault of the two younger sons.

The father was also convicted of gross violation of the integrity of the eldest son and for assault of the daughter and the second oldest son.

However, he was acquitted for any offences against the youngest son. The parents must also pay damages to the children.

In court it was revealed that most of the violence was carried out by the parents' hands. A cane - known as a rotan - was also used as were clothes hangers on occasion.

The case has attracted considerable interest in Malaysia and was being watched by several members of the Malaysian embassy. In February the country's prime minister, Najib Razak, said he would help the couple fight their case.

A Facebook group 'Bring Shal and Family Home' attracted more than 20,000 likes while a top columnist in Malaysia described the legal process in Sweden as "a travesty of universal justice."

Malaysia's policy on corporal punishment is at odds with Sweden's. Caning in the classroom is still permitted in Malaysia, while all forms of physical punishment on children has been outlawed in Sweden since 1979.

In a statement issued by the Solna district court it said that the family had been residing in Sweden since 2010 as the father landed a job with the Malaysian government in Stockholm.

It added that the charges, for which they were convicted, referred solely to crimes committed in Sweden. All four children gave evidence and spoke of repeated violence in the home.

When the parents were remanded in December it was reported by Malaysian media that the Muslim couple struck their 12-year-old son on the hands for refusing to perform his prayers.

"The district court considers the children highly credible and their accounts are on the whole reliable," a statement issued by the district court in the wake of the verdict read.

Both parents have denied the charges.

The four children, with ages ranging from seven to 14, have since returned home to Malaysia.  

The Local/pr 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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