A judge in Limassol has sentenced a man from Syria and his wife on assault and psychological violence, following a complaint filed by their daughter who broke the family’s hijab wearing rules.
According to Philenews, a Limassol district judge recently convicted a Syrian man in his early forties and his wife in her early thirties on charges of common assault and psychological violence in connection with a hijab dispute in the family.
The case dates back to 2021 when a young girl filed a complaint with the authorities, saying her dad and stepmom had assaulted her after learning that she removed her hijab after school.
The father believed his daughter ought to wear a hijab due to religious convictions but he also expressed remorse, saying he was wrong to hit her and that he ought to adopt western practices
Details of the case were not fully known as the trial took place behind closed doors, but reports said the father was accused of slapping his daughter in the face while her step mother was said to have hit the girl in the stomach with a broom stick.
A judge who presided over the case found the couple guilty and handed out a 4-month suspended sentence to the father, who has three other children, while the step mother received a fine.
Philenews reported that the father had admitted common assault charges, telling the court he believed his daughter ought to have been wearing her hijab due to the family’s religious convictions.
But the dad also expressed remorse, telling the judge he was wrong to hit his daughter and that he ought to adapt to standards and practices of the western world.
The girl was understood to have been living away from home in state foster care, supervised by the Social Welfare Services.
Hijab-wearing, a conservative or religious symbol among ethnic groups, has become a contested issue in the Republic of Cyprus, diving educational institutions while also presenting challenges for employment.
In recent years some high school students fought back after being subjected to what they described as racism.
But critics of the hijab, who say the headscarf represents oppression, have called for a ban, a position not officially supported by authorities.