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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
'Wife-beating' Saudi surrenders
Rania al-Baz before and after her beating (Arab News)
Rania al-Baz suffered multiple fractures (picture: Arab News)
A well-known TV presenter in Saudi Arabia says her husband has surrendered to police to face charges of attempting to kill her.

The case has opened a public debate in Saudi Arabia about the issue of violence against women.

The presenter, Rania al-Baz, allowed newspapers to show pictures of her swollen and bruised face and has had repeated surgery for 13 fractures.

There has been no official comment from Saudi police on the arrest or charges.

I want to use what happened to me to draw attention to the plight of women in Saudi Arabia
Rania al-Baz
Ms Baz accuses her husband, Mohammed al-Fallatta, of severely beating her, threatening to kill her, and abducting their children.

She says she stayed with him because she was afraid she would be denied custody of the children if she obtained a divorce.

Domestic violence centre stage

Every morning for the past six years, Ms Baz has presented a family programme on Saudi television. She is well-known in the kingdom.

Ms Baz's case is the first time domestic violence has received media coverage of this kind in Saudi Arabia.

The BBC's correspondent Kim Ghattas says Saudi Arabia is a deeply conservative society, where Islamic Sharia law is strictly enforced and where honour and appearances are hugely important.

The presence of problems such as domestic violence, rape, paedophilia or Aids is often simply not acknowledged.

Unveiled women anger Saudi cleric
21 Jan 04  |  Middle East

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