A member of the Association of Families of Lebanese Students Abroad has died of a heart attack, prompting condemnation from the Association, which held banks responsible for his passing.
Hussein Kawtharani, the father of a student in Ukraine, had been trying to transfer money to his son from a bank in Sidon, southern Lebanon, the Association said in a statement on Thursday.
However, the bank not only refused to make the transfer but also “intentionally canceled his account and transferred it to him via a bank check, to continue to humiliate him, which caused him to have a heart attack that ended his life and put his son’s future in the wind.”
In the wake of the incident, the Association denounced what it called “the chapters of the conspiracy of banks and some of their guards from the political class.”
It called on the judiciary to look into all lawsuits filed against banks that are refusing and delaying the transfer of funds to Lebanese students in other countries.
It also called for holding accountable the bank that “caused the death of one of its clients,” and for legal action regarding the banks’ “exploitation of the student dollar law to smuggle 240 million dollars abroad.”
Additionally, the Association requested action regarding “the poor relationship” that banks have with the parents of the students who have filed lawsuits against them. These lawsuits were filed for “requiring them to waive their rights and absolve them of their liabilities first, without any legal guarantees for them, for requests to be considered afterward.”
Parents of Lebanese students abroad have repeatedly held protests in Lebanon since the effects of the financial crisis began to kick in.
While their children in other countries struggle to keep going without a steady stream of sufficient financial support, these parents are fighting for their hard-earned deposits that were frozen by banks with the onset of the economic meltdown.