Lebanese Outraged At TV Station Hosting Man Who Killed His Wife


MTV News received severe public backlash on social media for inviting the man who has recently killed his wife to explain his perspective on the horrid crime.

Many deemed it outrageous that he was even granted an opportunity to explain himself for the horror he committed, as the TV station’s hosting the wife’s killer defacto normalized femicide and domestic violence.

Zeina Kanjo, a young bride, was strangled to death by her husband Ibrahim Ghazal, who then took his time to wrap her body with bedsheets, organize and clean the house, and make a contact to flee the country.

While the person he contacted reported him to the authorities, Ghazal did manage to escape to Turkey, hours after killing his wife.

MTV presenters somehow thought it appropriate to give him air time, over the phone, to explain to the public the events leading up to how he killed his young wife.

The station even made an announcement on Twitter for the public to “stay tuned” for “a special interview with Ibrahim Ghazal, the killer of his wife Zeina Kanjo, in which he narrates how the crime happened and reveals it.”

Lebanese journalist Salman Andary reacted at once, urging MTV not to broadcast that interview, adding: “Don’t give the killer a platform to talk about his murder!!!”

Journalist and humanitarian activist Hayat Mirshad, who’s also the co-director of the feminist group Fe-Male, commented that “Lebanese media often help enshrine the idea that men can get away with these crimes.”

It is an entrenched mindset in the Lebanese society, in general, that excuses men’s deeds against their wives, as the first reaction, more often than not, is to ask, “What did she do?”

The general belief is, indeed, that men can get away with domestic violence because courts in the country have, for too long, favored them with a status of superpower over their wives in all aspects of the marriage, including excusing and/or nurturing their wrongdoings.

Ghazal, who had admitted to killing his wife Zeina, clearly shares that mindset, as noted from his arrogant statement on the show that “if he didn’t want to get arrested, he wouldn’t be.”

That was a statement of a man who had fled the country so he won’t get arrested and is hiding from the law in Turkey. In fact, Ghazal has been charged with murder by the Lebanese judiciary that has issued an Interpol arrest warrant against him

It is to note that despite that archaic mindset, many in Lebanon totally refute the killing of a spouse, as denoted by the backlash from the public against the interview.

A Twitter user by the name of Georges Sadaka commented that “the interview with his wife’s killer is a glorification of the killer. It is a moral error and a professional mistake.”

Another Twitter user issued, “This is weird, a media makes of an insane criminal a TV star instead of showing him humiliated and shackled.”

It is to note that Lebanon has officially criminalized sexual harassment back in December. However, domestic violence reports doubled, with 1,468 cases received in the last 12 months, up from 747 during 2019, according to the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

An ISF official told local media that “the number of women killed during domestic violence also increased, but the exact figure has not yet been finalized.”

Three other women have been murdered in less than a month and, as pointed out by Mirshad, they should not be considered as isolated incidents.

“They are part of a series of crimes enacted every day against women and girls because of the patriarchal system and a mentality that justifies these crimes,” she stated.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, there are local organizations that can help. Reach out to: KAFA: +961 3 018 019, Himaya: +961 3 414 964, ABAAD: +961 81 78 81 78

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