A Dutch-Moroccan woman will appear in court in Roermond on Thursday accused of the serious long-term physical abuse of her nine year-old son by 'driving out spirits', the Volkskrant reports.

The 39 year-old mother believed her son was possessed by a djinn, described in the Koran as a spirit made of smokeless fire. Many Muslims, including in the Netherlands, believe in the existence of such spirits, the paper writes.

The boy was placed in foster care in 2016.

According to the woman's lawyer, there are mitigating circumstances because the mother believed she was healing her son. 'Abuse means you are hurting someone on purpose, and that is not the case here,' Anis Boumanjal told the paper.

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