North Lebanon Prosecutor, Judge Matilda Touma, decided to arrest professor Samer Mawlawi based on inquiries found in the complaints file submitted by George Sarraf High School students.
Last week, the Public Prosecution heard Mawlawi’s statements and decided to leave him with a residence permit after he signed a pledge not to harm any female student.
The interrogation was conducted under the supervision of Judge Matilda Touma, who released Mawlawi based on “misdemeanor” actions, despite the students’ testimonies.
The students deemed this decision a pretext to set Mawalwi free from any accusation. They demanded that the Public Prosecution changes the decision and arrests him as his actions were a felony.
The Students Association condemned the release of the teacher, stressing that the professor should be held accountable and “a lesson to those who consider public schools a place of harassment of female students.”
Last December, Samer Mawlawi, a teacher at the George Sarraf High School in Tripoli, was accused of sexual harassment by female students.
The school’s administration did not take the complaints seriously and dismissed them, compelling the students to protest in front of their school for the accused teacher to be held accountable for his actions.
The school administration responded by calling the Lebanese Army on the protesting students.
The teacher was later arrested, and the case was referred to the High Disciplinary Commission and the Juvenile Protection Authority in the Ministry of Justice.
The young female students in Tripoli stood together to urge proper actions to be taken against the professor after being ignored by the principal after various complaints.
In Lebanon, these sexual felonies are not taken seriously to the extent of their crime and trauma, adding that sexual perpetrators like Samer Malawi, Marwan Habib, and others tend to be set free due to “political” connections in the judiciary or the army.
The consequences for the victims are not minimal. In addition to their life-scarring trauma, hundreds of girls and women are left to live in constant fear of being assaulted again by the same perpetrators left to their freedom.