UAE against domestic abuse: Official

UAE`s highest court rules that a man can hit his wife to discipline her.

Dubai: A senior Emirati judicial official on Wednesday said that the UAE has strict policy not to tolerate any degree of family violence even though the country`s highest court ruled that a man can hit his wife and young children to discipline them provided he leaves no physical marks.

Clarifying the court ruling, Humaid Al Muhairi, director of Judicial Inspection Department at the Ministry of Justice, has said that in the recent case involving beating of wife by the husband, the country`s Supreme Court actually convicted the husband of an excessive degree of chastisement of his wife.

"It is clear, therefore, that Sharia law does not permit such acts. The ruling further stated that the father`s chastisement of his adult daughter was a breach of Sharia law. This is in line with judgments in many previous cases where persons have been convicted of the use of an unacceptable degree of violence within the context of their families," Al Muhairi said in a statement.

It was earlier reported that the court has ruled that a man can beat his wife and young children as long as no marks are left.

Al Muhairi stressed that while not widely spread in the UAE, domestic violence remains a matter of great concern to the government.

"Violence within the framework of a family is always a regrettable event and is, of course, not something that is confined to the UAE," he said.

Muhairi`s comments follow a report this week that the Federal Supreme Court found a man guilty of beating his wife and daughter while noting that Islamic codes allow for "discipline" if it leaves no marks.

The court ruled that a man who "slapped and kicked his daughter and slapped his wife" violated his "right" under Sharia, or Islamic law, to discipline his wife and children, as he beat his wife too severely and his daughter, aged 23, was too old for such discipline.

Al Muhairi said there is no evidence to suggest that inter-familial violence is widespread in the UAE.

However, the issue remains one of concern to the government and the full force of the law will continue to be brought against those who may exercise chastisement of any kind, verbal or otherwise, beyond acceptable bounds.

"Our courts adhere to strict policy not to tolerate any degree of family violence whether verbal or physical," Al Muhairi added.


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