Ultra-Orthodox riot over arrest of suspected child abuser continues


Tihar Jail
Jun 16, 2009
Ultra-Orthodox riot over arrest of suspected child abuser continues in Jerusalem
2009-07-16 14:38:31 GMT2009-07-16 22:38:31 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Ultra-orthodox riot in Jerusalem over the arrest of a woman suspected of nearly starving her three-year-old son to death showed no sign of abating on Thursday afternoon, local daily Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the report, police evacuated welfare workers from their office in the Geula neighborhood as ultra-orthodox protesters pelted the building with stones.

Simultaneously, protesters burned tires and hurled stones at passing vehicles on Shivtei Yisrael Street.

On Dvora Hanevia Street, where protesters had earlier stoned the Education Ministry, protesters burned garbage bins, damaged road signs and tried to block the street. They were dispersed by police.

So far, ten people were lightly wounded as the riot which started on Tuesday, resumed Thursday morning, according to the newspaper.

The riot came after Tuesday's report that a 30-year-old suspected child abuser, who is ultra-Orthodox and belongs to one of the most extreme sects in Jerusalem, was arrested for allegedly starving her son for two years until he weighed merely seven kilograms.

According to the newspaper, the woman apparently suffers from Munchausen's-by-proxy, a psychiatric disorder that entails abusing someone, typically a child, to draw attention to or sympathy for oneself.

The woman's London-born husband, a 30-year-old Yeshiva student, said he was unaware of any abuse on the part of his wife, a Jerusalem native.

The woman's family claims the child has cancer and that his skeletal appearance is due to chemotherapy treatments, a claim denied by doctors, who have said that since the mother's arrest nearly two weeks ago, the child's condition has improved and that he has begun to put on weight.

The woman's attorneys requested that she be released from prison and placed under house arrest for health reasons, citing her advanced pregnancy.

In response, prosecutors said that they would only consider this after a psychiatric evaluation of the woman is conducted, a move the defense team has so far opposed.

The Hadassah administrator said the boy was likely to recover physically with good care, but it was not clear what his traumatic experience would do to him mentally and psychologically.

Ultra-Orthodox riot over arrest of suspected child abuser continues in Jerusalem - World News - SINA English

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