BEIRUT

Lebanon News

NGO reports another domestic violence death

This undated picture shows Rouqaya Mounzer.

BEIRUT: A woman died last week after reportedly being shot in the chest by her husband, a local non-governmental organization told The Daily Star Monday, the latest in a series of domestic violence cases plaguing Lebanon.

Rouqaya Mounzer was allegedly shot in the chest by her husband Wednesday night, said Maya Ammar, communications officer at KAFA. It is not known whether she died immediately or at the hospital.

Mounzer, 24, lived in Beirut’s southern suburbs with her husband, identified as M.M., and their two young children. She had been married for seven years, according to Ammar.

“It was most probably her husband [who killed her],” she told The Daily Star. “It was known that he was violent with her.”

Mounzer’s husband was arrested Wednesday after the incident and is being interrogated by the authorities.

“The coroner wrote a very quick report,” Ammar said.

The report did not mention bruises that were visible on her body, which were more apparent around her neck and body once it was washed, the organization claimed.

This prompted her family to demand that the public prosecutor conduct another autopsy.

Forensic experts have not yet issued a report.

Mounzer has always had very “restricted movement,” Ammar said, and her parents were not allowed to see her often, which isolated her from a support system.

Mounzer’s death comes weeks after hundreds marched in Beirut to mark International Women’s Day, calling for the adoption of a draft law to protect women from domestic violence.

This is the third such case in Lebanon this year, and the fourth counting Lebanese Margaret Tannous, whose husband George turned himself in after he reportedly killed her in Sydney, Australia, in February.

That same month, Manal al-Assi, a teacher, died in a Beirut hospital due to injuries she suffered when her husband allegedly beat her repeatedly with a pressure cooker. Also in February, Christelle Abu Shaqra was reportedly poisoned to death by her husband in the Beirut suburb of Ain al-Rummaneh.

A draft law to protect women from domestic violence was first submitted to Parliament in 2010. A parliamentary subcommittee began studying the draft in May 2011 and finalized its amendments in August 2012, which altered the title of the text, now referring to violence against the family, as opposed to women specifically. A key clause criminalizing marital rape was removed by the committee after it sparked a backlash from religious figures and some politicians.

Of the 128-member Parliament, 43 supported the draft law in 2012, mostly from the Lebanese Forces, Free Patriotic Movement, Future Movement and Kataeb Party.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 25, 2014, on page 4.

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Summary

Rouqaya Mounzer was allegedly shot in the chest by her husband Wednesday night, said Maya Ammar, communications officer at KAFA.

"The coroner wrote a very quick report," Ammar said.

The report did not mention bruises that were visible on her body, which were more apparent around her neck and body once it was washed, the organization claimed.

Mounzer's death comes weeks after hundreds marched in Beirut to mark International Women's Day, calling for the adoption of a draft law to protect women from domestic violence.

A draft law to protect women from domestic violence was first submitted to Parliament in 2010 .

Of the 128-member Parliament, 43 supported the draft law in 2012, mostly from the Lebanese Forces, Free Patriotic Movement, Future Movement and Kataeb Party.


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