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Sara El Amin’s protection of her husband is rewarded by murder

21-5-2015

The outrageous murder of Sara Al Amin by her husband Ali Zein (for full news press here) brought back the debate on the role of social norms and practices in playing down the implementation of the domestic violence law passed a year ago by the Lebanese Parliament, as well as in sustaining the deafening silence of women who are subjected to abuse. According to As Safir newspaper, the slain wife refused to press domestic violence charges against her husband or file a protection grievance given her by the new law to the Jury for matters of special urgency, which basically requires that the abuser stay away from the marital house. Sara has reportedly told her attorney Ashraf Mousawi that she “did not want her husband and father of her children to be humiliated”. Not only did she refuse the protection order but also that her husband appears at the police station to sign a pledge vowing not to ill-treat his wife again. The shocking crime instigated a wide social media campaign by activists challenging women to refrain form using such outdated advices such as: “go back to your husband, forgive him, compromise, it’s ok, sacrifice for your family…”; describing these advices as ‘killers’. In this respect, Sara’s father revealed to the newspaper that he and his sons opposed his daughter’s return to her marital house but she insisted to “reunite with her family and sacrifice for the sake of her children”. It is to be noted that Article 549 (on attempted murder) of the new protection law provides for severe punishment, namely life sentence, for the husband who kills his wife which repeals the old Penal Code provisos of severity of punishment that exclude the wife. Sara’s lawyer Mousawi confirmed that he will base his case on this stipulation in prosecuting the defendant. On the same note, lawyer Leila Awada, Kafa’s legal unit officer, demanded the review of the legal ways used in these cases, criticizing the resort to reconciliation to resolve differences between couples especially when the life of the wife is at risk. (As Safir, 20 May 2015)

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