Beirut: A video showing a policeman taking a girl away from her mother’s arms to give her over to her father inside a police station in Lebanon went viral on Saturday.
A member of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces [ISF] was shown in the video [posted early morning on Twitter and Facebook] to be carrying the crying girl away from the mother’s arms to hand her over to her father as part of enforcing a judge’s order in Joub Jannine police station.
Joub Jannine is a village located in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.
Shortly after well know journalists and media figures shared the video on their social media accounts.
The incident was heavily criticized and users accused the policeman of being biased, unmerciful and abusing his authority to forcibly take the girl from her mother.
Renowned journalist Dima Sadek posted on her Twitter the video that she described as ‘very disturbing’ and tweeted that the policeman forcibly took the girl from her mother to hand her to the father while implementing a Jaafari Court ruling.
Under the impression that they had perceived from the video images, sympathizers condemned the Jaafari Court [Shiite Personal Status Court] decision to grant custody to the father.
In dozens of tweeps, the judges were accused of being prejudiced against women and were also labeled as ‘bigoted’ saying they ‘constantly favored men to women in their judgements over children’s custody and visitation hours’.
As the controversy continued spreading like fire on social media, the ISF issued a statement clarifying that the policeman was implementing a court judge’s order in his capacity as a law enforcement officer.
“The couple divorced in 2017 and the mother was granted custody. The father was granted visitation hours and sleepovers at weekends. The father had not seen his six-year-old daughter for nearly two months and a half. The father [a police corporal] complained at the police station that his girl’s mother and grandmother had been coaching his daughter to say that she doesn’t want to sleep over. On October 8, the father obtained a judge’s order allowing him to see his girl privately at the station. On Friday, the father was sitting in a side room seeing his girl when the mother and grandmother started shouting from outside. The girl cried and shouted … so the father took his girl to his place, saw her for three hours before he dropped her back,” said the statement.