A 10-year-old girl died in eastern Algeria during a violent exorcism (Roqya) session, which has generated shock on social networks, since the arrest of the “healer” or Raqui on Thursday.
The prosecutor in Guelma, 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of the capital Algiers, announced that a 28-year-old man had been arrested on Thursday after the girl’s death “who was injured during a Roqya (healing by the faith) to which she was restrained in her family’s house”.
No information was provided on the reasons why the minor had been subjected to that exorcism session on Wednesday.
According to the prosecution’s statement, reproduced by the media, the girl died when she arrived at the emergency department of the Guelma hospital, where “signs of blows and burns on her body were found.”
The prosecution ordered an autopsy and an investigation, according to the same source.
Exorcists are often called upon to heal the sick, “cast out the devil,” protect themselves from the evil eye, or to aid sterile wives.
Although Islam doesn’t allow exorcism, some think it’s legal in Islam, considering it legal because it is done with the word of God – through the recitation of the Holy Quran, many denounce that this practice is frequently the work of unscrupulous people who abuse the pain of the sick, especially those with mental and spiritual illnesses.
On social media, many internet users expressed their anger at the girl’s death during a “torture session ” at the hands of a “hangman”, and many also denounced the lack of media coverage of the tragedy.
“How long are we going to pretend not to see the girl cut down by her father has and the ten-year-old girl tortured and killed by a raki in Guelma?” journalist Akram Kharief, the director of the MENA Defense website, asked on his Facebook page.