A woman in Saham was stabbed 15 times, allegedly by her own brother, for wanting to marry a man of her choice. Still in shock after the stabbing and her family’s reaction, the 23 year old is currently living at a secret location and has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Speaking to Muscat Daily on condition of anonymity, a lawyer who has been assisting the woman said that her family was opposed to her choice.
In September 2011, the woman had filed a complaint against her family in court, which dismissed the petition on October 8 the same year. (Muscat Daily has a copy of the verdict).
The lawyer said that matters came to a head when the man she wanted to marry filed a case accusing her uncle of insulting him. At a hearing of the case on March 14 this year, her family allegedly asked her to make false statements in court. She refused and told the facts to the court.
“Her family was infuriated with her. The same night, her eldest brother stabbed her 15 times with a screwdriver when she was sleeping,” said the lawyer.
She was first taken to Saham Polyclinic and then to Sohar Hospital the next day.
A discharge note from the hospital (of which a copy is available with Muscat Daily) says, “The woman was admitted to the hospital with multiple stab injuries on middle and upper chest, shoulder and arm. She complained of chest pain. The patient looks depressed and can be discharged after a safe environment is guaranteed at home.”
Her complaint to the NHRC, says that the family refused to take her to the hospital on the night she was stabbed, fearing the repercussions.
Doctors at Saham Polyclinic advised the family to take her to a hospital. The family, however, took her home and only when she complained of severe pain, was she taken to Sohar Hospital the next morning, it says.
The woman’s complaint further says that she was coerced by her family into asking her fiancé to withdraw a complaint he had filed against her brother for the stabbing.
Later, fearing her family, especially her brother, she came to Muscat in a taxi. The complaint also says that all her personal belongings including passport, graduation certificates and ID have been taken away from her by the family and her freedom restricted.
It also added that she was not allowed to take up a job after completing her education.
According to the lawyer, NHRC took up the matter with concerned authorities to help the woman find a safe shelter and suggested two places.
An NHRC official confirmed receipt of the complaint. “As soon as the NHRC received the complaint, she was called to our office where a detailed incident report was prepared by officials of the documents and records department.
“We suggested two places, but she said that she felt she was safer where she is currently living.“