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When suicide is the only escape



  11:19:12 pm, by admin   , 233 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

When suicide is the only escape

When suicide is the only escape

A revolution is needed to push the Lebanese government's hand to make the requisite reforms to its labour laws

By Khaled A Beydoun

Washington, DC - For Alem Dechesa, death was the only way out. For thousands of voiceless Ethiopian domestic workers working in Lebanon, suicide is the only avenue for escaping a nihilistic existence.

I witnessed the range of human rights abuses endured by Ethiopian maids - from both the perspective of a Lebanese insider and a human rights attorney - and found that Dechesa's death was anything but a horrific aberration, but a common consequence of the modern-day slavery industry in Lebanon.

Dechesa took her life on March 14, after experiencing severe beatings, mental abuse and potentially more, from her employer. A video, showing Ali Mahfouz brutally beating Dechesa in front of the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut, went viral after she took her life. The video, viewed by millions around the world and propelling the story into the global news spotlight, uncovered the dehumanisation and brutality endured by Ethiopian domestic workers in Lebanon.

Poverty, lack of viable employment alternatives and desperation, give fertile ground for traffickers to exploit despondent Ethiopian women. Once the birthplace of mankind, Ethiopia today serves as a cradle for traffickers pursuing profit and Lebanese nationals, seeking cheap labour - a virtual one-stop shop for inexpensive and convenient servitude.

Read More from Al Jazeera


Comment from: bex [Visitor]

I am 100% sure Alem Dechese didn’t take her life, she kiled by hospital memebers and try to coverup her story, this is lebanes who is no humanwright exist Hosibola base. Trust me in 10years lebanes one of trarist state in midle east. RIP inocent Alem Dechese who try to change her two kids and i hope one day history never for got her. what happen to dechese no one knows during with her employ only God knows how she is abused by that stupid man

04/09/12 @ 16:54
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

It is even absurd to say Alem killed herself before her death is thoroughly investigated.

The big let down was that she got beaten savagely right in front of the disrespected Ethiopians consulate. Worst of all the Ethiopian government still is not doing anything when all this savagery happened to its citizen in front of the whole world. If it was for any handouts the Woyane regime would be the first one to show up with begging bowl.

As shown on the video Alem fought to separate herself from the Lebanese employer, Ali Mahfouz who was pulling by her hair and beating Alem. She never appeared as a person who wanted to kill herself. She fought to save her life.

The suicide plot comes after she has been killed in the hospital or somewhere where Ali Mahfouz took her by force. It is all a cover up.

04/10/12 @ 20:04
Comment from: tarik mohamed [Visitor]
tarik mohamed

i’m lebanis student here in united states i can;t run away from the truth
there is lot of abuse going on it is my country but there is no way for my own pease i have to tell the truth but more than any thing while i was watching the ethiopian embassy they deliberately ignore they people to such abuse to me it is so sad and it was qustion that stay in my mind to this days but when i see how that poor women treated in front of the ethiopian embassy and the embassy is just ignore it i told my friend here this is not the first time it is happen almost evryday they shocks the ethiopian embassy should be removed to all of us there is no other thing that they do helping the sitizens of ethiopians un till this happen no one talk about that either

04/11/12 @ 09:12


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