Deprived in Life and Death: Lebanese Mother Sneaks in to Grieve by Daughter's Grave Defying Custody Laws

Published February 27th, 2020 - 06:55 GMT
A Video of a Woman Crying Near Daughter's Grave in Lebanon Prompts Calls for Civil Custody Laws
The video prompted strong reactions, especially that it reignites the conversation in regard to women's custody rights in the country. (Twitter)

Lebanese social media exploded with anger over a viral video of a Lebanese mother crying near her young slain daughter's grave, 62 days after she was killed by a stray bullet.

The mother, Lina Jaber, is reportedly divorced and hasn't been able to live with her kids for almost two years, due to Jaa'fari religious court laws in Lebanon that grant fathers full custody and the right to decide whether mothers can see their kids or not. 

Translation: The mother in this video has been denied the right to live with her daughter. And even when the daughter died, the mother was denied the right to attend the funeral. The young girl has been buried in the backyard at the father's house so the mother doesn't get to visit her grave. Here, she visits the grave for the first time after 62 days."

According to Al Nahar newspaper, Lina had filed for divorce in 2017 and lost custody of her 14-year-old daughter, Maya and her son, Mohammad, due to custody laws in Jaafari Shiite courts in Lebanon that favor custody for fathers.

Upon her daughter's death by a stray bullet last December, Lina's requests to attend the funeral and see her dead daughter a final time were rejected by the father. Maya's father also insisted on burying his daughter in his own backyard and to install a fence around it so Lina never gets to visit the grave, even though she lives in the same village.

Translation: "This is the beautiful Maya who has been deprived of her own mother for two years and was killed by a stray bullet. Her grave has been surrounded by a fence so her mother can't see her even after her death. So many women have given up on their own dreams and don't speak up so they don't lose their children in case of a divorce. We demand a Lebanese civil code. We demand that those in charge of Jaa'fari courts are held accountable. No one has the right to deny women the right to be with their children."

Lina reportedly sneaked into the backyard 62 days after Maya's death, accompanied by her sister who filmed her first visit to Maya's grave.

The video prompted strong reactions as it reignited the conversation on women's custody rights in the country, especially among Shiite citizens who have their own religious courts.

Translation: "How can any religion support this injustice?"

Social media reactions centered around calls for a civil code that regulates custody laws and stops religious courts that deprive women of custody rights.

Translation: "Yes to a civil state that respects women's rights."

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