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'Child Marriage' File Resurfaces After Girl Commits Suicide in North Lebanon

'Child Marriage' File Resurfaces After Girl Commits Suicide in North Lebanon

Saturday, 16 December, 2017 - 08:15

The northern Lebanese town of Akkar was shocked by the suicide of a 15-year-old girl, prompting officials to reopen the file “marriage of minors”, although the main motive behind the suicide has not been established yet.

In the details, Nazira Tartousi (born in 2003) killed herself with a hunting rifle while returning from a visit to her family in the Beddawi area with her husband, Abdul Hai Ali al-Suyour, to their home in Wadi al-Jamous.

One of the village elders told Asharq al-Awsat that the couple had returned to their homes and Nazira started preparing the ‘nargileh’ for her husband and a group of people who had come to visit them, including the husband’s brother. She was laughing and talking to the visitors, according to the witness.

“Suddenly she entered a room and took out a hunting rifle owned by the husband and shot herself... the people rushed to the room and saw the blood spread on the wall,” he said.

Residents in the town denied any kind of differences between the wife and her husband. When asked if she got married against her will, they say: “Never. She decided to leave school and build a family. You must look at the history of her family and the family of her husband to know that they are the finest people.”

Their economic status is “very good and they are among the richest families in the village,” according to the residents.

Nazira was transferred to Al-Yousef Hospital and was examined by a forensic doctor. Her case was kept in strict secrecy. Her husband was arrested by members of the Information Division in Halba and handed over to Al-Abdeh station before being investigated.

A source told Asharq al-Awsat that the husband revealed that he had no problems with his wife.

Her mother, however, revealed that her daughter told her more than once: I will kill myself. She did not remember the reasons, and her mother always deterred her and reminded her of the religious reasons that forbid the killing of the soul. When Asharq al-Awsat asked a relative of the family why she would have killed herself, he replied: “Her head hurts and she does not say more than that.”

“Regardless of the circumstances of the killing of the 15-year-old girl, who has married five months ago in Akkar, the final word is for the court’s ruling and the investigations,” Minister of State for Women’s Affairs Jean Ogassapian said on his Twitter account. “What is sure, however, is that this girl had the natural right to enjoy the tenderness of her parents and continue her education,” he added, expressing his rejection to the marriage of minors.

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