11-year-old girl starves to death after religious parents lock her up without food or water for days to 'purify' her
After Perolla Pires died in hospital last month, her mother Aline, 26, and stepfather Enri, 47, were charged with causing her death.
A heartbreaking diary maintained by an 11-year-old Brazilian girl revealed how she suffered under her parents' strict fasting regime months before she starved to death.
After Perolla Pires died in hospital last month, her 26-year-old mother Aline and 47-year-old stepfather Enri were charged with causing her death. Following her death, Perolla's 300-page diary revealed how her parents made her pray in silence for hours and perform strenuous exercises to "punish" her while she was already malnourished, Daily Mail reported.
Police superintendent Ricardo Mamede said he believed that the victim had suffered "long-term torture."
"The stepfather has strong religious convictions and believed that the children needed to be saved, needed to become more God-fearing and should purify themselves," the police officer said. "He claimed this could only happen through fasting."
The little girl was accused of "bad manners" and "lying" by her parents and allegedly kept her locked in a room in the family apartment in Ubatuba without any food or water for days at a time as a form of punishment.
Perolla's plight was brought to the notice of the emergency medical workers after her parents took her to a hospital on October 24, five months after she had last gone to school. Doctors said she was diagnosed with protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM), which is caused by severe and prolonged starvation and arrived at the hospital lifeless and pale. Her condition was so severe, in fact, that she was pronounced dead on examination.
Mamede added that in her diary, the victim "wrote about frequently doing abdominals and a variety of flexions on an empty stomach."
He added that the torture started with denying her one meal and then continued to get more brutal. "In the last fast she kept asking for something to eat. When she complained of hunger she was told to drink water. She said she had drank water but was accused of lying and punished for it," he said.