Orphanage manager sentenced to 3 years for beating children

Following the emergence of a disturbing video of orphans being beaten and verbally abused, a criminal court in Giza sentenced the manager of the orphanage to three years in prison and a fine of LE1,000 on Wednesday for endangering the lives of seven children whom he was filmed beating at the orphanage last month.

The defendant had already been sentenced to two years for using brute force on infant boys and girls, aged between seven and 10 years old, under his supervision.

According to Veto Newspaper, a third year was added to his sentence, plus the LE1,000 fine, for the possession of a weapon — a rod — used to beat the orphans.

The abuse suffered by children at the orphanage was evidenced by a video of the beatings that circulated online shortly after it was filmed on August 1.

Holding a wooden rod in his hand, Osama Othman, the manager of Mecca Orphanage in Giza, was filmed by his wife as he beat, slapped, kicked and cursed seven orphans. The children were filmed crying, holding themselves in pain and running or limping away from the abusive man following the beatings.

The private ONA News Agency reported that the court’s verdict was based on its findings that Othman had “threatened the children’s lives by beating and torturing them.”

Conditions at the orphanage were further criticized as it is under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Local media outlets have referred to the case as the “Orphanage of Torture” and blamed the Ministry for failing to prevent abuse within its network of orphanages.

The court ruled on Wednesday that the Mecca Orphanage is to be shut down and the children relocated to another orphanage under the supervision of the Ministry. The orphans had reportedly already been moved to an unnamed orphanage shortly after the emergence and circulation of the video.

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