New York, NY – A 46-year-old British diplomat frantically called police at about 9:35 a.m. Saturday and said her husband had beat her in the face, but police eventually had to let the man go because he used her diplomatic immunity.
Youssef Amrouche, 37, was arrested after he refused to talk to the police and slammed his apartment door on a police officer’s hand, causing an injury. But police couldn’t hold Amrouche for long because he invoked diplomatic immunity.
The New York Post reported that the spouse of a diplomat also has diplomatic immunity.
The victim, whose name was not published by the New York Post, works for the United Kingdom ambassador to the United Nations. She reportedly had redness and swelling to her face after a domestic dispute but declined medical treatment, according to the New York Post.
Now, U.S. Congresswomen is trying to make it so Amrouche can be prosecuted.
“The United Kingdom should waive this abuser’s diplomatic immunity so that he can be held accountable for his actions,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D – Manhattan), according to the New York Post.
Maloney used to co-chair the House Caucus on Women’s Issues in Washington D.C. She plans to petition both the British Embassy and the U.S. State Department and not allow Amrouche to use his wife’s diplomatic immunity as a shield from prosecution.
“Domestic abuse cannot be tolerated, no matter if it is committed by a diplomat or not,” said Maloney, according to the New York Post.
Domestic violence activist Kirsten Paruginog of Break the Silence said it was outrageous that people can escape justice because of diplomatic immunity, according to the New York Post.
“When you’re living in the United States — whether you’re an immigrant or a tourist or a diplomat — our country should protect you,” she said, according to the New York Post.