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Lebanese activists hold candlelight vigil for murdered women

Lebanese activists called for an end to the murders [AFP]

Date of publication: 24 December, 2017

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At least three women have been murdered in Lebanon in less than a week, with activists calling for the government to end the killings.

Dozens of Lebanese activists held a candelight vigil in Beirut on Saturday to remember at least three women who were murdered in the country in less than a week.

Among those killed was UK embassy worker Rebecca Dykes, who was murdered by her Uber driver last week with her body left by the side of a motorway.

A 22-year-old woman was also shot dead with her husband detained, vigil organisers said.

Earlier this week, a woman's son-in-law was also held in custody after she was found killed.

A 15-year-old girl was also said to have committed suicide during the week.

Organisers of the vigil attacked the "legal, social and political systems" to address what they called "systemic" violence against women, from harassment to murder.

"We reject the normalisation of violence against women and justifying it as separate incidents at a time where it's clearly a structural and systemic violence that haunts us in private and public spaces," they said.

They called for "tangible and effective actions" to respect women's boundaries and bodies.

Lebanon passed a law making domestic violence a criminal offence in 2014, after a years-long campaign by civil society groups. Yet the country remains fraught with dangers for women which activists have tried to highlight.

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