Lebanese teenager 'handcuffed, set on fire' in horrific killing

Lebanese teenage girl 'handcuffed, set on fire' in horrific killing
3 min read
19 September, 2020
The killing of a 14-year-old believed to have been taken hostage, handcuffed and "soaked in a gallon of petrol" before being set alight, has shocked Lebanon.
For many, the crime comes from longstanding corruption and ineptitude among politicians [AFP]
The body of a 14-year-old Lebanese girl was found severely burned in an abandoned apartment in Beirut on Friday, in a horrific killing that has shocked the nation

The teenager, identified as Zeinab al-Husseini, was believed to have been taken hostage, handcuffed and "soaked in a gallon of petrol" before she was set alight in an empty apartment in the Burj al-Barajneh nieghbourhood in the Beirut suburb, local reports said.

One man, believed to be the prime suspect who poured petrol on the girl and set her alight, has been arrested, while two of his alleged accomplices were being pursued, an army statement side.

The victim's family called on authorities to act quickly and catch them and to ensure that all those involved in the brutal crime do not escape punishment. 

The victim's father, Atef al-Husseini told a local news outlet that his daughter had left the house a few days ago and when she did not return home, the family reported her as missing to authorities.

Husseini received the shocking call on Friday, requesting that he attends to identify his daughter's body, which was burnt so severely that he was unable to identify her without a DNA test.

Due to the severity of her burns, a medical examiner was unable to determine whether the teenager was sexually assaulted before her murder – although it is believed to be the motive behind the horrific killing, according to local media reports.

Despite the tragedy, Husseini said he hopes that his daughter died before she was set alight, so that she did not have to feel the pain of being burnt alive.

Images taken at the crime scene showed a charred corpse lying in the corner of an empty room. 

"What happened to my daughter is a crime, and as history has proved, there is no justice in this country," Husseini told Nidaa Al-Watan. "I hope that public outrage over this crime puts pressure on authorities to act quickly."

Many in Lebanon, a country still reeling from the August 4 explosion at the Beirut port that killed 190 people and ravaged large parts of the capital, have expressed outrage.

For many, the crime comes from longstanding corruption and ineptitude among a political class that has failed to establish a functioning state or uphold the rule of law.

"We will expect even more horrific crimes if her murders are not immediately punished!" one Facebook user said.

"If a country is ruled by criminals and thieves, what do you expect to happen under their rule?" another Facebook user said. 

"Justice in Lebanon will remain absent as long as corruption continues," another Facebook user said.

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