The Jaafari court in Beirut has deprived the family of late feminist activist Nadine Jouny of seeing her son Karam, according to her sister Nadah Jouny.
Nadine Jouny died on October 6, 2019, in a car accident. Before her death, she was deprived of the custody of her son Karam, after divorcing her husband.
The mother then participated in many campaigns opposing violence and discrimination against mothers and demanding adjustment to the age of custody by mothers in the Shiite court.
After her demise, Judge Sheikh Ali Haidar of the Jaafari court issued a verdict on October 1st, 2020, allowing the family to see the son of their daughter for 24-hours.
However, as now recounted on a Facebook post by the sister Nadah Jouny, the decision was then appealed by the father, with pressure on the judge, “misrepresentation of justice, bullying, and violation,” which forced the judge to step down.
His replacement, Judge Sheikh Jaafar Kawtharani, turned then the case over to the Supreme Court based on the appeal.
On September 4th, 2021, the President of the Jaafari Supreme Court, Judge Sheikh Mohammed Kanaan, requested new proof of alleged child abuse against the mother’s family, notably her father.
“They gave nothing to the judge but misleading justice again without proof,” Nadine’s sister said on her Facebook post. “Judge Sheikh Mohammed Kanaan did not issue any verdict and rejected the appeal.”
Her sister Nadah now posted on Facebook that the Jaafari Court has issued a new verdict forbidding the family to see the son Karam.
She added that on Monday (April 4, 2022), Judge Kawtharani claimed “proof” that the child does not want to see his mother’s family, based on allegations of mistreatment.
A painful story that adds to the many in Lebanon when it comes to mothers and the custody of their children.
Lebanese sectarian courts, which decide on family affairs and fates, impose “patriarchal rules” in legal guardianship regardless of the case, with custody of the minors going almost automatically to the husbands.
Cases have been many where the absence of a husband redirects the custody of his children to his family, and cases where children end up with a stepmother while deprived of their own mother.
In that, these courts don’t rule with justice but with bias against mothers for being women, which has been causing tremendous human and social injustice to both the mothers and their children.
Mothers in Lebanon are still treated as second-class citizens and even less, without consideration for the suffering the courts are imposing on them and their kids in divorces.
In the same context, domestic violence and femicide are not being handled justly by the authorities in the country. Just recently, a Lebanese court sentenced the wife-killer Karam Al-Bazi to only 5 years in prison, despite brutally abusing and murdering his wife Rola Yaacoob in 2013.