Last week a Beirut schoolteacher, Manal al-Assi, quarrelled with her husband Mohammad al-Nhaily. He beat her unconscious with a pressure cooker while their two daughters, Tala and Sara were at school.
Neighbours heard the couple’s screams and called the local police station numerous times, only to be told that they couldn’t interfere in a family matter. Family and neighbours broke in and, while al-Nhaily fled with a second wife and family, they rushed his wife to hospital where she died 12 hours later from massive haemorrhaging.
“He beat her for years, since I was 3 years old,” said Assi’s daughter, 15-year-old Tala al-Nhaily. When asked if he had beaten her this severely before, Tala replied, “This bad, yes.” “He broke her nose once.” Her 13-year-old sister, Sara, stood by her side, nodding.
A family violence law has been languishing in Parliament since July, when it finally made it out of committee after the death of Roula Yaacoub and the backlash that followed.
At a news conference held Friday afternoon by the National Meeting on the Elimination of Discrimination, lawyer Wafiqa Mansour al-Doueiri told activists and reporters that the state had failed to protect Assi and others like her.
In contrast, government officials such as Caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami have been lightening quick in condemning Lebanon’s Olympic Alpine Skier Jackie Chamoun.
This comes after media reports and social media websites posted a video and photos of Chamoun (who’s currently competing at the Olympics in Sochi) posing topless.
Minister Karami also called for taking all the necessary procedures in order to protect Lebanon’s reputation.
Chamoun has been forced into making a public apology:
“I want to offer my apologies to y’all and I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and that these pics don’t reflect our culture. Though I totally understand if you wish to criticize”.
To put it simply one woman has been forced to apologize for her private life by the government while the same government ignores the deaths and beatings of others.
Full story at The Daily Star (Lebanon) here.