Lebanon News

Man who kidnapped wife's niece arrested: police

A screen grab of Gaviotta Saleh who spoke in a video released to the girl's relatives. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: A Lebanese man who kidnapped his wife's 14-year-old niece was arrested Wednesday, the police said, a day after the girl said in a video she had willingly eloped with her older relative.

The police said it apprehended Mohammad Abdel-Majeed, 33, “the kidnapper of the little girl Gaviotta [Saleh],” at an apartment in the Abi Samra neighborhood of Tripoli, north Lebanon.

Saleh and Abdel-Majeed were taken to the Tripoli police station for investigation. Saleh will then be transferred to the Halba station before being returned to her parents.

In a video sent to Saleh’s parents, the 14-year-old said she wanted to clarify the controversy surrounding her disappearance.

“He and I have been together for two years, and my mother and my uncles have known about it,” said a calm Saleh, who hails from the northern Akkar town of Khirbit Daoud.

She also said that her aunt, Abdel-Majeed’s wife and a mother of two, would be receiving divorce papers “in two days so they could get married.”

Saleh denied reports Abdel-Majeed had abducted her and asked her family to stop making up stories about their relationship.

She ended the video by smiling and saying she loved her parents.

Less than a month ago, 13-year-old Fatima Qourhani married her maternal cousin after she ran away with him and also released a video declaring her love for him.





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