An Iraqi mother was sentenced to two years’ probation after she was accused of beating her teenage daughter because the girl refused to go along with an arranged marriage and was spotted talking a male student at her high school.
Yursah Farhan, 51, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, was spared jail time in exchange for a guilty plea to unlawful imprisonment of her daughter, 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi.
The girl’s father, Mohammed Altameemi, 46, also received two years’ probation for disorderly conduct, and her 18-year-old sister, Tabarak Altameemi, received the same sentence for assault.
Prosecutors said the incident started when Aiya was spotted by family members talking to a young man outside her high school.
The father and Aiya’s sister confront the young woman and took her home, where Mohammed Altameemi struck her several times. The girl’s mother and sister admitted to tying her to a bed with a rope that was secured with a padlock and beating her.
Aiya Altameemi also claimed that she was burned with a hot spoon on her face and chest while her sisters held her down.
She told school officials about the incident and claimed that her family was trying to protect her because they ‘want her to be a virgin for an arranged marriage’ to a 38-year-old man, according to court documents.
Farhan was arrested at St. Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix in February because she had hit her daughter so violently with her hands and a shoe that the girl required medical treatment.
Farhan told police she wanted to punish the girl because her Iraqi culture states that ‘a female is not allowed to be having contact with males’.
There was a brief struggle in the emergency room when officers arrived to arrest Farhan, who refused to be handcuffed and was eventually carried out by two people.
The prosecution case against Farhan’s husband Mohammed Altameemi stated that he cut his daughter’s neck with a knife on February 7, leaving a one-and-a-half inch wound.
He had admitted trying to kill her with the knife, until her sister Tabarak Altameemi intervened.
Records show the 19-year-old then had her mouth taped up and her hands and body bound with a rope.
Tabarak Altameemi is also accused of breaking a glass over her sister’s head around 11 months ago.
Farhan, who denies the alleged abuse, told a judge: ‘I swear I didn’t hurt her, only slightly, just like any parent would do to their children. Nobody would hurt their own children. You can ask her if she can be here with me.’
The Altameemis and Farhan are Iraqi citizens. They have been banned from contact with the victim, who suffers from epileptic seizures.