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'Dying one after the other': Beirut protests violence against women Open in fullscreen

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'Dying one after the other': Beirut protests violence against women

A tribute for women who have been killed at the hands of male violence [AFP]

Date of publication: 28 January, 2018

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Eight women - including a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide - have been killed as a result of male violence since December.

Angry protestors outside the Lebanese parliament called for an end to violence against women, denouncing inaction by the authorities with eight women murdered or committing suicide since early December.

Dozens attended the demonstration organised by civil society groups - including the feminist association Kafa - which wants legislative reforms to protect women from domestic violence.

Red wooden cut-out silhouettes representing victims including the eight were set up in the square outside parliament.

Demonstrators brandished placards bearing slogans including "Anger is no excuse" and "No funeral before justice".

Since early December, eight women have died violently in Lebanon, including a wife shot dead by her husband on Monday in Beirut.

Also among the dead were a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide over an early marriage and UK embassy employee Rebecca Dykes, who was strangled to death by a taxi driver who tried to rape her.

"Women are dying one after the other because of inaction by the legislative, executive and judicial powers that don't consider this to be a priority issue," said a statement signed by several NGOs.

In 2014, Lebanon passed a law that for the first time set down penalties for domestic violence after an unprecedented campaign sparked by the murders of several women by their husbands.

However, the Kafa group is demanding that the law be amended to lay down more rigorous penalties for conjugal violence and to ensure that cases are dealt with faster.

"We want justice - justice for Zahraa and all the girls. We want the criminals to be punished," said 50-year-old Ali al-Qabbout, referring to his daughter who was killed more than a year ago by her ex-husband.

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