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CRIME

‘Jihadi’ father loses custody of daughter in Spain

A Spanish court has stripped a convicted jihadist of custody of his daughter for having tried to indoctrinate her, in a ruling published Wednesday which observers say is a legal first.

'Jihadi' father loses custody of daughter in Spain
The man's wife who accused him of trying to indoctrinate their two children, including showing them gruesome execution videos. Photo: Luis García/Wikipedia

The Madrid provincial court ordered the removal of Nabil Benazzou’s “parental authority” over his teenage daughter for having tried to “radicalize” her. Although the ruling is dated December 13th 2021, it was only released on Wednesday.

It follows a request from Benazzou’s former wife, Raquel Alonso, who accused him of trying to indoctrinate their two children, including showing them gruesome execution videos.

While the couple have two children the ruling only applies to their daughter since their son is over the age of 18 and so no longer a child.

The daughter said Benazzou told her “that if she was not a Muslim she was going to go to hell…, he told her that she had to pray every day,” the court ruling said.

“He also wanted to force her to learn Arabic and pray, forced her mother not to feed her if she did not do it, and told her that when she was aged five or six she would have to get married.”

Spanish media said it was the first time that a parent has lost custody of their child for having tried to indoctrinate them with extreme jihadist beliefs.

Alonso, who has written a book about her experiences, “Married to the enemy”, has said Moroccan-born Benazzou became radicalized in 2011 following the death of his father.

He was arrested in 2014 and two years later a Spanish court sentenced him to eight years in jail for membership of a terrorist organization, the al-Andalus Brigade, a Spanish branch of al-Qaeda.

The court said the group recruited and indoctrinated “jihadist volunteers” to fight in the Middle East.

After divorcing Benazzou, Alonso founded an association called ACREAVI, which fights against extremism.

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CRIME

Spanish mother jailed for falsely accusing ex-husband of child abuse

A Spanish court has jailed a woman for five years for repeatedly filing false reports about her ex-husband sexually abusing their daughter.

Spanish mother jailed for falsely accusing ex-husband of child abuse

According to El Mundo daily, the sentence was unprecedented in Spain.

In a ruling handed down by a court in the southern city of Granada which was seen by AFP on Wednesday, the unnamed woman was convicted of filing false allegations, offences against moral integrity and abandonment of parental responsibility.

She was also ordered to pay €40,000 ($42,000) each to the child and her father for the harm caused by her unfounded allegations, which were aimed at securing sole custody of her daughter, now nine.

The court also took away the mother’s parental responsibility for 10 years on grounds she posed “a threat to (her daughter’s) development”, according to court documents dated Monday.

The woman had filed eight reports to the police and the courts over a two-year period, accusing her husband of abuse and on one occasion rape as they were in the throes of getting divorced.

She also took her daughter to be examined by doctors and psychologists on 10 separate occasions.

None of them ever found any evidence of the alleged abuse.

The ongoing gynaecological and psychological examinations had an impact on the child’s “psychological stability and her performance at school”, according to the court documents.

The aim was to “obtain the sole and exclusive custody” of their daughter.

The sentence, which can be appealed, described the mother as a person with a predisposition for “lying” who displayed “shameless cynicism” and “cunning malice with obsessive overtones”.

The couple married in 2010 and had a daughter in 2012. But they split up in 2017 and the problems began a year later when the father, an English teacher, requested joint custody.

After his ex-wife began filing the false allegations against him, he lost most of his students along with his “emotion stability, peace of mind and sense of calm”, the court found.

“It’s like being buried alive,” he told El Mundo.

“It’s trying to kill someone without laying a finger on them… accusing them of the vilest, worst thing that a human being can do: harming your own daughter.”

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