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Lebanese woman jailed for holding on to her daughters' passports

10-5-2019

Khadija Nayef, Lebanese mother of three girls, and a divorcee since over three month, is currently detained at the Ghobeiri police station on the charge of "retaining the travel documents of her three daughters" and so as not to allow their father to take them outside Lebanon. This is not the first of such cases. Indeed, the same police station had detained Fatmeh Hamzeh back in 2016 for refusing to hand over her three year old baby to her ex according to a ruling by the Jaafari family court (https://bit.ly/2VZcyN0). Al Akhbar noted that the state has yet again mobilised to penalise women who are legally considered to be inept to take care of their children as women's role is simply to deliver children. Child custody is therefore the mandate of men regardless of their aptitudes. According to lawyer Manar Zeaiter, there is no clear legal text which allows the detention of women for keeping the travel documents of their children especially if no theft of documents was committed. Zeiater also added that even if such text existed, this does not justify detaining a woman in a police station especially that judges do have a flexibility in taking the matter under advisement. As such, Zeiater noted that judges should be more sensitive to women's issues as long as they are not breaking the laws. This, she thinks, requires courage and a contemporary understanding of the law. (Al Akhbar 10 May 2019)

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