BEIRUT: A woman has died after being allegedly poisoned by her husband, a local non-governmental organization said Monday, which if true would be the latest in a string of domestic violence-related murders in Lebanon.
Roy Hayek reportedly poisoned 30-year-old Christelle Abu Shaqra with a toxic substance normally used as a pesticide, a KAFA representative told The Daily Star.
Abu Shaqra’s relatives said the couple, who lived in the Beirut suburb of Ain al-Rummaneh, had been separated for two months and that she had moved into her parents’ house a few weeks ago.
“Christelle came to us 10 months ago seeking legal consultancy regarding divorce and custody for her only child. ... She was subjected to domestic violence,” said Rima Abinader, a social worker with KAFA.
She added that Abu Shaqra stopped visiting the NGO after it provided her with a lawyer.
“Maybe we could have resolved her issues, and she would not have not ended up like that,” she said.
The family of Abu Shaqra alleged that Hayek had a long history of abusing his wife.
“He used to take his pistol and shoot at her, and he even tried to remove a tattoo she had on her arm with an iron,” Abu Shaqra’s mother, dressed in black, told a local television station.
She said Hayek phoned her around 11 a.m. Saturday, saying Abu Shaqra was unconscious and at Hayek Hospital.
“She stunk of the smell of poison,” the mother said. She filed a lawsuit against Hayek immediately after her daughter died.
“If there is any kind of justice in Lebanon, they should hang him,” Abu Shaqra’s distraught father said.
Hayek has been summoned by a judge and released on bail, a security source told The Daily Star.
If true, Abu Shaqra would be second victim of domestic violence this month alone. Manal Assi died on Feb. 8 after her husband reportedly beat her with a pressure cooker the night before.
A parliamentary committee has approved an amended draft law criminalizing domestic violence in Lebanon, but the full Parliament has failed to consider the bill.