New details in alleged 'honor beating' of Phoenix woman


by Marie Saavedra

Posted on February 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 16 at 3:45 PM

PHOENIX -- Court documents released Thursday reveal new details in the case pitting Iraqi culture against Arizona law that has landed a Valley mother in jail again, as well as her husband and one of her daughters.

A week after Yusra Farhan was arrested for allegedly beating her teenage daughter she has been re-arrested, accused of burning the daughter for refusing to take part in an arranged marriage to a man twice her age.

According to a police account of an alleged incident on Feb. 7, the victim told school counselors and officers that her father attempted to kill her with a kitchen knife. She said he put the knife to her neck, cutting her and leaving a 1-inch to 1-1/2-inch cut on her lower neck.

She also said that her mother had her sisters hold her down while her mouth was taped and her hands and body were bound with a metallic rope.

The victim was reportedly photographed at the hospital with bruising.

"She's not supposed to be in the jail, she doesn't do nothing wrong. That's our culture!" said 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi on Saturday, defending her mother who was out of jail after being arrested for the alleged beating.

Aiya said she talked to a boy and her mother hit her and tied her up. She said that's expected in their Iraqi culture.

"In my culture it's a sin. It's a sin," Farhan said.

But police call it a crime, plain and simple, and so does the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).

"We know that it's wrong to tie somebody up in Iraq, Syria or the United States of America," said Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser with the AIFD.

Continued investigation has revealed more alleged violence in the family and though they insist it's a clash of cultures, it has still landed 50-year-old Farhan back in jail, along with another daughter, 18-year-old Tabarak Altameemi, and the girls' father, 54-year-old Muhammed Altameemi.

Police say they've learned that back in November, Tabarak allegedly held her sister down while their mother burned Aiya on the face and chest with a hot spoon. It was allegedly because the 19-year-old wanted out of an arranged marriage with a 38-year-old.

"We don't know about this, we don't know. I know my culture, I think all the countries -- same culture," Farhan said.

All three were arrested on charges of aggravated assault and were booked in the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail.

Yusra Farhan and Mohammed Altameemi initial court appearance

Tabarak Altameemi initial court appearance