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Malaysian mum won't appeal child abuse ruling

Published: 29 Mar 2014 10:34 GMT+01:00

Shalwati Nurshal was given the sentence on Friday at the Solna district court in Stockholm. She, along with her husband Azizul Raheem Awalludin, were found guilty of "gross violation of integrity" of their children. Awalludin was given a ten-month sentence. 

Following the ruling the woman's defence lawyer, Kristofer Stahre, said an appeal was unlikely as her client reacted favourably to the verdict.

"The prosecutor had demanded for two and a half years imprisonment and this is less than half," Stahre told the TT news agency.

Nurshal could be out as early as September under the principles of conditional release after serving two thirds of her sentence.

"Of course we wished for a different outcome but the verdict is welfare motivated and the court of law have made a careful examination," Stahre added.

In Malaysia the Education Ministry are looking into Nurshal's legal options on her status as a teacher following the conviction.

"This is a new matter which we need to resolve because she has been convicted overseas and we will see what are the considerations. What is important is that it will not burden her," Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh told Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times.

The defence lawyer for Azizul Raheem Awalludin said his client was "disappointed" with the verdict. He did not allude to a possible appeal.

"I have spoken to my client and he is of course very disappointed - he denied the charges," Jonas Tamm told AFP.

The pair had been found guilty for hitting their children, aged between seven to 14, with their hands as well as with a stick and a clothes hanger.

The case has generated substantial interest internationally due to the significant differences in corporal punishment legislation between Malaysia and Sweden.

In Malaysia smacking a child is not against the law and caning is still used in the classroom. By contrast, Sweden was the first country in the world to impose a ban on corporal punishment back in 1979.

"These cases are so extremely rare in Sweden today... this is much more severe than what we're used to," child abuse expert Staffan Janson told AFP.

He added; "They may not have known (about the ban) though they may have thought that they had some kind of immunity... and would not end up in a Swedish jail."

Nurshal's sister Shaleena told Malaysian media that she was "sad" with the verdict after her sister was sentenced to 14-months in a Swedish prison.

"Although I am sad, it is God’s will and I accept the decision...Shalwati’s jail term may be further reduced if she shows good conduct while serving the sentence," she told the Malaysian newspaper The Star.

The couple were remanded last December and their sentence is enacted from the time of their arrest. Their four children have since returned back to Malaysia and were informed of their parents' imprisonment by family members.  

The Local/pr 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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