A beauty queen has allegedly been strangled to death by her husband in Lebanon, becoming the latest victim in a spate of domestic abuse killings in the country.
The murder of model Zeina Kanjo in Beirut and two other women has provoked outrage, as authorities revealed a doubling of domestic abuse reports in a country that recently won praise for new laws to protect women.
Kanjo was allegedly killed at her home by husband Ibrahim Ghazal, who was charged with her murder after fleeing to Turkey, state-run National News Agency reported.
She was killed on Sunday evening having previously filed a complaint of domestic abuse against her husband. They had only been married for a few months.
A warrant is out for Ghazal’s arrest, who fled the couple’s home in the Ain el-Mraisseh district of Beirut where initial investigations found him to have killed his wife.
Findings from a preliminary investigation by the Internal Security Forces, led by Beirut’s chief prosecutor showed that her death was a result of strangulation, that she had previously filed a domestic violence case, and was trying to get a divorce.
Lebanese TV channel Al Jadeed broadcast an audio recording in which Ghazal can be heard discussing the death of Kanjo with her sister Ruba.
‘Ask me anything. By the way, I didn’t want to, I didn’t want her to die, when she was screaming, I just put my hand on her mouth. Just like she would scream and fight with me in front of you, Ruba,’ he is heard saying, according to Middle East Eye.
‘I told her to be quiet and stop crying since it was morning. Would I kill her?’
When Ruba continued to press her brother-in-law on her sister’s death, he refused to give a straight answer, saying that he informed the police of her death.