Phoenix police say Iraqi mom beat daughter, padlocked her to bed

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 10, 2012 8:53 PM
Phoenix police say Iraqi mom beat daughter, padlocked her to bed

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Iraqi woman has been arrested in Arizona accused of beating her daughter and padlocking her to a bed in outrage after she spoke to a male student at school in violation of the family's traditional values, police said on Friday.

Yusra Farhan was taken into custody after a struggle with officers on Wednesday at a Phoenix hospital where her 19-year-old daughter was being treated for minor injuries, Phoenix police spokesman James Holmes said.

Farhan, 50, faces charges of aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. She was being held in a Maricopa County jail. Police did not identify her daughter by name.

The incident started on Tuesday, when the daughter was spotted by her father talking to a 19-year-old man at a high school parking lot in Phoenix. Police said her father became angry and took her home, striking her several times.

The mother arrived home later and admitted to hitting her daughter with her hands and a shoe, and tying her to the bed with a rope around her waist that was secured with a padlock, court records showed.

Farhan told police she hit her daughter because she "was speaking to a male subject and her Iraq culture states a female is not allowed to be having contact with males because females are not allowed to have boyfriends," court records said.

The daughter was allowed to leave for school the next morning and was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix after telling school officials about the incident.

Police arrived at the hospital and attempted to arrest Farhan, but she and other family members struggled with officers, Holmes said. She was ultimately arrested with the help of additional officers and hospital security. No other arrests were made.

"In an attempt to diffuse the situation in the hospital, officers determined that it would be better to just remove the mother from the scene," Holmes said, adding that additional charges were expected to be filed in the case.

The arrest follows another high-profile case involving an Iraqi immigrant. Last April, an Arizona judge sentenced Faleh Hassan Almaleki to 34-1/2 years in prison for murdering his daughter in what was described as an "honor killing."

Almaleki struck and killed his 20-year-old daughter Noor with his vehicle in a Phoenix valley parking lot in 2009 for becoming too Westernized and violating what he said were Iraqi and Muslim values. He also injured her boyfriend's mother before fleeing the scene.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Cynthia Johnston)