A Muslim Montrealer who repeatedly threatened his four daughters to kill them if they dared to remove their veils, in addition to repeatedly hitting them, was found guilty across the board.
“They were forced to wear the veil, he regularly threatened to kill them if he saw them” as Quebecers “,” said judge Josée Bélanger by finding the violent father guilty on Wednesday at the Montreal courthouse.
The 47-year-old man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his four daughters, committed his crimes between 2016 and 2018, when he had recently immigrated from Algeria. If he had chosen Canada, it was so that “his daughters could study and wear the veil,” he was told in court.
And according to the testimony of his four underage daughters, the youngest of whom was 8 years old at the time of the events, he had no openness to them being able to remove him. They were also forbidden to hang out with boys, or to wear clothes that were too short for their liking, under pain of being beaten. But unlike what he did in his native country, he avoided hitting them with a belt “so as not to leave marks”.
“If you file a complaint, [les autorités] will do nothing, you are Arabs, ”said the father to his daughters.
The father, who has since been stripped of his parenthood by the Court of Quebec, was however wrong on this point.
Saved by the school
This is because if the victims were too afraid to file a complaint, it was rather an educator who took care of it. One day, he saw that one of them had taken off her veil at school and, amazed, he had pointed out to her.
“She replied that her mother knew about it, but that if her father found out, he was going to kill her,” said the magistrate.
The educator then immediately warned the girl that he was going to report to the DPJ, but she refused, explaining that even a complaint would put her life in danger.
“She wanted to put the veil back on, but the practitioner refused,” added the judge.
Soon after, a complaint was filed and the father was arrested and charged.
During the trial, the father defended himself from having committed any crime. At most, he had said, he was a “harsh” parent, but not a violent one.
“He said he was the victim of a conspiracy,” said the judge.
Except that his version was not accepted, unlike those of the victims, who told at length all the ways in which they could be threatened and beaten in the house. Once, the father hit one of his daughters in one eye, enough that it would be impossible for him to open it for a while. At other times it was arm twists. At times, he even asked his sons to beat their sisters, forbidding them to defend themselves.
Found guilty of threats and various assaults, including certain armies and causing injuries, the individual will return to court in the coming weeks for pleadings on the sentence to be imposed on him.
In the meantime, he will remain in preventive detention. His wife has since left him, and he no longer has any authority over his daughters, who were present at court and who did not wear the veil during the hearing.