U.S. - Arizona woman Aiya Altameemi, 19, was assaulted and imprisoned by her family because they saw her speaking with a male acquaintance, behavior her mother said is forbidden by the family's traditional Iraqi values.
Relatives who beat their teenage family member and padlocked her to a bed were all sentenced to two years' probation in a plea deal on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
The teenager was spotted talking to the young man outside of her high school in February. Her father, 51-year-old Mohammed Altameemi, brought his daughter home and hit her multiple times.
He then held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her before she was beaten by her mother, 51-year-old Yusra Farhan, and younger sister, 18-year-old Tabarak Altameemi.
The two women tied Aiya Altameemi to a bed, secured the rope with a padlock and taped her mouth, then beat her. She was tied to the bed overnight.
Two days later, Altameemi told a school counselor what happened, saying "her family is trying to protect her and they want her to be a virgin for an arranged marriage," court documents state.
The high school notified police, but Aiya Altameemi defended her family's actions. "We are Muslim," she says, "“Our culture says no talking to boys, no boyfriend. That's why she's hitting me."
Police say she had injuries consistent with being beaten tied up, sustaining bruises, scratches and a minor cut.
On Tuesday, Farhan pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment of her daughter, Mohammed Altameemi pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and Tabarak Altameemi pleaded guilty to assault.