May 14, 2012
May 14, 2012
As of Monday, six people are standing trial before the Court of Assizes in Brussels after a case of exorcism from 2004.
The three men and three women made a young Muslim woman of Moroccan origin believe she couldn’t have children because she was possessed by the devil.
The woman received different kinds of punishments before she lost her life.
The six defendants – two self-appointed exorcists, the victim’s husband and three female members of a radical Muslim group – will be judged for the next three weeks for “torture leading to death” and risk 20 to 30 years in prison.
The victim, Latifa Hachmi, 23, died in Brussels on the evening of August 5th 2004. A few hours earlier, her husband, Mourad Mazouj, had called for assistance reporting that his wife was feeling ill in the bathroom.
The hypothesis of a natural death, however, was quickly dismissed, as her body was found covered with bruises and her lungs filled with water.
Her husband finally admitted that his young wife was subject for over a month to several sessions of exorcism according to the rite of the “roqya” to expel from her body the “Jinn” (evil spirits) that “prevented her from getting pregnant.”
The rites were practiced in the couple’s apartment in Brussels and were conducted by Abdelkrim Aznagui, a Moroccan self-proclaimed “Sheik” and his “disciple”, a Belgian native converted to Islam, Xavier Meert, with the assistance of Hachmi’s husband and three Muslim “sisters” of the victim.
During this period, the young woman had ingurgitated dozens of liters of “holy” water.
She only ate two tablespoons of yogurt per day and always had earphones playing verses from the Quran.
For them to “bring out the Jinn”, the exorcists put their fingers up the woman’s throat, forced her into a very hot bath and beat her with a stick.
“The husband and Latifa herself asked Xavier Meert for the exorcism sessions,” said his lawyer, Peter Chomé. “He may have misjudged her health condition, but it has nothing to do with torture,” he added.
From their side, Latifa’s family asked for acts of torture to be recognized by the court.
They also said that this ritual has nothing to do with the principles of Islam.
“They made the family and Latifa believe that she could not have children because the devil was inside her.
That’s why they started the exorcism rituals, but exorcism is not recognized in the Islamic faith”, explained the victim’s brother.
Source: Alarabiya with agencies