An 11-year-old boy in Malaysia has died after he was brutally beaten with a water hose for making noise in his school's Islamic assembly building.
According to Malaysian newspaper the Star, Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd was due to his arm amputated on Wednesday in a desperate bid to save his life. Earlier, both of his legs were removed to stop the spread of bacterial infections resulting from the beating, reportedly carried out by a 29-year-old assistant warden at the school in Kota Tinggi, Johor state
However, the child, who was in an induced coma, died in hospital the same day before the procedure could be carried out. Mohamad died with his father Mohd Ghadiffi Mat Karim, 43, and his mother Felda Wani Ahmad by his side, who told reporters they had accepted their son's death as "fate".
The boy was one of 15 students whipped with a garden hose for making noise in the school's place of worship, according to reports. Prior to the March 24 beating, Mohamad had been struck by the assistant warden on a number of occasions, according to authorities.
Ahmad told reporters her son was initially happy at the school, but begged her to take him home in March as he couldn't take the repeated assaults.
"On March 31, I visited my son and decided to bring him home as he looked very weak and worried," she said.
The 11-year-old had also written about his repeated abuse in his diary, which was found by family members while he was in hospital.
Officers obtained a four-day remand order on the 29-year-old suspected attacker, who has served a two-year jail sentence in the past and has a criminal record for theft.
The boy's aunt told reporters the child was taken to hospital after suffering severe pain which emerged days after the beating. Just before his death, doctors were monitoring a blood clot in his left shoulder.
Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk, reportedly paid his respects to Mohamad's family on Wednesday and urged the public to "stop speculating on the case because it could hurt the family's feelings and taint the institution of religious schools," reports the Star.
"It is unfair for us to prematurely pin the blame on anybody or any party before investigations are completed and without any proof," he said.
However, the Independent notes that the case has prompted calls for closer scrutiny of "tahfiz" schools, where students learn to memorize the Koran.
"To this day, we do not know who are actually in charge of regulating tahfiz schools," Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, chairman of the Parent Action Group for Education, told Reuters.
"I would like the investigation into this case to be speeded up and for legal action to be taken if any offenses were committed," he said on his Twitter account on Wednesday.