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Lama Hajj 05 Nov 2018

Lebanese Mother Sentenced To Jail After Her 6-Year Old Refuses To Return To His Dad

Rita Choucair’s only crime in the eyes of the Lebanese judicial system is that she did not sufficiently pressure her six year old son Adam into leaving with a social worker to go back to living with his father.

The divorced 25-year old was sentenced to 3-months in jail by Judge Richard Al-Samra in a court in the southern town of Jwaya, according to Daraj website. Six year old Adam was having his weekly 24-hour visitation with his mother Rita after which he refused to go back to his father’s house.

The main charge Rita faces is that she did not sufficiently “guide” and “convince” her young son to going back to her ex’s house. This ruling is seemingly the first of its kind as normally mothers are not jailed for their children’s refusal to visit the other parent.

This comes as part of an ongoing struggle Lebanese women have with the miserable state of personal status laws in the country. The same laws that prevent women from passing nationality to their kids and from rightful custody of their children.

People took to Twitter to support Choucair using the hashtags #متضامنة_مع_ريتا_شقير and #الأمومة_مش_جريمة (which translate to: in solidarity with Rita Choucair and motherhood is not a crime)

We can’t forget that only last week, Roula Yaacoub’s husband was acquitted and released after beating her to death. These women suffer once at the hands of their abusers, then again at the hands of the law.