Thought 'possessed,' 6 years in chains

July 23, 2010 at 10:19 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 23 (UPI) -- A Saudi man has spent six years chained in a basement apartment because his father believes he is possessed by an evil female genie, authorities said.

When the 29-year-old man, identified only as Turki, first began behaving bizarrely, his father took him to local Muslim clerics to recite the Koran over him, The Daily Mail reported Friday.

"But most of them became scared when they heard the female voice telling them that she was a royal jinn (genie) and that no-one can exorcise her unless Turki dies," his father said.

One cleric advised him to confine his son's arms and legs in chains and read the Koran to him.

"We did this," the father said. "My son became quiet but is totally unaware of what is happening around him. He does not talk and is now unable to harm anyone."

In Islamic theology, genies, or jinn, can be sinister. They are believed to be normally invisible but can assume human or animal form and are often said to be motivated by jealousy or revenge, The Daily Mail said.

A Saudi human rights activist and professor in Shariah (Islamic law) who visited Turki found him to be in a "semi-coma."

Muhammad Al-Suhali said Turki "did not know what was going on around him. He could not eat, drink or use the toilet without the help of others."

Suhali urged the Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs to provide the family with better accommodation and take Turki into its social security program.

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