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White Ribbon Ambassador Charged With Domestic Violence

20 October 2015 at 11:57 am
Lina Caneva
Rugby League champion and ambassador for White Ribbon, Hazem El Masri, has been charged with domestic violence assault and is due in court on Thursday according to NSW police.

Lina Caneva | 20 October 2015 at 11:57 am


White Ribbon Ambassador Charged With Domestic Violence
20 October 2015 at 11:57 am

Rugby League champion and ambassador for White Ribbon, Hazem El Masri, has been charged with domestic violence assault and is due in court on Thursday according to NSW police.

The 39-year-old has been charged with an alleged domestic violence-related assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault against his 25-year-old wife.

  El Masri's photo on the White Ribbon ambassador page

Police said El Masri was arrested overnight after the alleged assault at his Bankstown home, he had been granted conditional bail and would appear in Bankstown Local Court on Thursday.  

El Masri played more than 300 games for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs during a distinguished rugby league career which included NSW and Australia representative honours.

White Ribbon, which works to prevent men’s violence against women, currently lists El Masri as an ambassador on its website

“White Ribbon Ambassadors are men who recognise the importance of men taking responsibility and playing a leadership role in preventing men’s violence against women,” the NFP’s website said.

White Ribbon said in an initial statement that the organisation was investigating El Masri’s status as an ambassador.

A formal statement just released by the CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, said El Masri was a former ambassador.

“White Ribbon is very disappointed to learn of the charges laid against former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs player and former White Ribbon Ambassador Hasem El Masri,” Davies said.

“White Ribbon advises that Hasem El Masri is not currently a White Ribbon Ambassador and as always, White Ribbon will provide no further comment on a case before the courts.”

White Ribbon said the Not for Profit had more than 2,200 ambassadors.

In February 2015, White Ribbon came under attack because controversial psychiatrist and ambassador Tanveer Ahmed suggested male violence against women was due to "male disempowerment" in a story he wrote for The Australian newspaper.

At the time, the CEO said “Dr Tanveer Ahmed’s article published in The Australian on 9 February 2015 and his subsequent comments are inconsistent with the message and focus of the White Ribbon Campaign. White Ribbon Australia appreciates the resulting deep concern of our supporters, including other White Ribbon Ambassadors”.

“As I have made clear, the views of Dr Ahmed do not reflect the views of White Ribbon Australia. In recognition of this and the need to assess his future involvement in the White Ribbon Campaign, Dr Ahmed has stepped down from his role as White Ribbon Ambassador,” Davies said at the time.

“White Ribbon Australia has followed the due process in place to deal with a formal complaint against an Ambassador. After publication of our statement regarding the articles by Dr Ahmed and Clementine Ford, we received a number of formal complaints that were then referred to the Board. The Board investigated and assessed these complaints. As a result Dr Ahmed agreed to step down from his role as White Ribbon Ambassador.

“We also want to reassure our supporters that we are taking every step to ensure our 2200+ Ambassadors meet White Ribbon Australia and community expectations consistent with their responsibilities as a representative of White Ribbon Australia. Since 2014, all men nominating to become White Ribbon Ambassadors complete training, are interviewed and are subject to referee checks.

“In 2015 we will be further strengthening this by introducing an Ambassador recommitment process, which will help us determine the ongoing suitability of those who became White Ribbon.”



Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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