Sidon MPs yesterday described the shock and anger at the recent sexual assaults on three schoolgirls in the city, while teachers devoted classes to warning pupils of the danger.
“The recent incidents are outrageous acts by people with sick minds,” Sidon MP Bahia Hariri said in a statement issued yesterday.
On Thursday, two men were arrested on rape charges, one of them suspected of raping an eight-year-old girl outside her school and the other of sexual harassment. The cases of the two other rape victims, a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old, are still being investigated.
“Our efforts should not be confined to legal prosecutions but include educational and social programmes to help people face problems of this kind,” she added.
Meanwhile, in Sidon schools yesterday, teachers devoted class hours to increasing pupil’s awareness on the subject of sexual harassment. Teachers also told their students to report any suspicious behaviour or open harassment.
“Security should be reinforced in and around the schools, especially at the beginning and end of the school days when students are at the gates,” Sidon MP Mustafa Saad said.
“We should also increase the penalties for those who commit such atrocious crimes,” he added. But the head of the education in the south Rida Saadeh mysteriously denied the rapes had occurred in the Sidon area.
He called upon the media to refrain from issuing unfounded reports and asked them to refer to the education department for any further information.