Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A six-year-old Syrian girl who was chained and kept in a cage by her cruel dad in a refugee camp has choked to death while eating her first meal after being starved for several days.
The young girl’s dad claimed he was not being abusive and that he had no choice but to lock up his daughter because neighbours had complained that she often walked around the camp alone.
Nahla al-Othman, 6, who lived in the Faraj Allah refugee camp in Idlib in north-western Syria, who was reportedly kept in a cage by her father to prevent her from wandering around the camp, choked to death on 4th May.
According to the Turkish news site Haberler, Nahla had been chained up for several months before she died.
Her inhumane treatment had left her suffering from severe dehydration, inflammation of the liver, and several other conditions.
The little girl was found unconscious in her tent by other camp residents who fed the starving girl.
Nahla’s sister, who was not named, told local media that Nahla was half-starved when she was finally given something to eat.
She explained that her sister ate very quickly and a piece of food became lodged in her throat which resulted in her choking to death.
Haberler said Nahla was taken to a local hospital where doctors confirmed that the little girl was severely malnourished and died of suffocation after choking on her food.
The little girl’s dad, Issam Abdel Qader Othman, age not disclosed, told local media that “sometimes I would chain her up. I had to do that”.
He added that his neighbours had complained because “she would leave the tent early in the morning and late at night on her own without clothes on.”
Othman denies accusations that he is a bad father, saying: “Nahla was an innocent angel. I would never have harmed my daughter.”
According to the local media, Othman was detained by the local authorities but has since been released.
It is unclear if the victim’s father will face any charges.