Muslim family arrested for flogging girl over Church service

Muslim family arrested for flogging girl over Church service
Naula's torture has shocked the nation

TORTURE | A Muslim family filmed flogging a teenage relative for allegedly attending church service has been arrested, Police have said.

Mr Jaberi Higenyi and six other family members were on Tuesday arrested over the shocking assault captured on a disturbing video in which an 18-year-old is brutally flogged.

The girl, who has since been identified as Shakira Naula, was allegedly given 100 lashes by her uncle as others firmly held her legs and hands.

The conduct has sparked widespread outrage across the country after the video, filmed by amateur camera, was posted on social media where it has since been widely shared.

Naula was allegedly treated to the inhumane punishment for attending a church service at Pastor Nicholas Kitibwa's Kibuku Prayer Convention Church.

The family from Bwase 1 Village, Bugolya Parish, Kadama Sub-county in Kibuku District said her actions compromised their Islamic faith.

The Kibuku security team, including the Resident District Commissioner and District Police Commander, arrested Mr Higenyi and five other maternal uncles; Yusufu Nantege, 28, Muhammad Wapesa, 24, Jaberi Lumans, 25, Uthuman Koosu, 25, and Issa Wasereye, 24.

The six guardians were joined in the clutches of the law by Ms Ziyadi Musenero, 29, in whose custody the teenage girl had been left by her mother who is understood to be working in Saudi Arabia.

Ms Musenero is Naula's maternal aunt.

The acting spokesperson of Bukedi North Region Police, Samuel Semewo, confirmed the arrests and assured the public that the police are diligently pursuing the case.

The suspects are being held at Kibuku Police Station.

According to Ugandan laws, at 18 years of age, a person is considered an adult with a right to association which includes the freedom of worship.

By beating Naula, the guardians were imposing their religion on her contrary to the Constitution.

"A parent can give two to three strokes of the cane to enforce discipline," Sumewo said, adding that tying or involving other people to hold legs and arms while administering lashes amounts to assault or torture.

He urged parents to adopt alternative means of disciplining their children.

Sowed Looki, a Uganda Muslim Supreme Council representative for Kibuku, condemned the conduct of the relatives, describing it as "de-humanising" and not backed by Islamic principles.

Drawing on the teachings of Prophet Nuhu in the Quran, he said the prophet's child defied his instructions to enter the ark but Allah told him to let go.

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