Human trafficking

Syrian woman lured to Lebanon and kept as sex slave tells of torture, beatings

A picture shows a room used by trafficked women at the three-story Chez Maurice Hotel, which was used by sex traffickers as a brothel, in the Maameltein district of the coastal town of Jounieh, north of Beirut on April, 14, 2016. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

A 24-year-old Syrian woman who was enticed into traveling to Lebanon by the promise a lucrative restaurant job and respite from the civil war of her home country was held captive and forced into prostitution, she told The Guardian in an interview from an abused women’s shelter.

The woman, identified as Rama by The Guardian, said she spent nine months held in a sex trafficking ring in Lebanon during which she was tortured, beaten with cables and an electric baton, and forced to have sex 10 times a day. Other women she was held with were forced to have abortions and suffered physical and psychological torture, she said.

“Honestly no, I no longer have faith after what happened,” she told The Guardian. “Because when we were beaten, I would say, ‘God, please save us.’ And [my torturer] would say, ‘You whore, you think God will save you?’ And he would beat me more. We couldn’t say the word Allah, not even within our hearts.”

Her chilling account follows a recent Human Rights Watch report urging the Lebanese government to crackdown on its trafficking problem after a raid earlier this year on the notorious brothel Chez Maurice freed 75 women who had been held as trafficking victims. The trafficking ring has targeted Syrian women eager to leave their war-torn country behind for the promise of lucrative jobs. Rama said that while she was held in the brothel she was not allowed to go outside or even see light. The women who were there told stories of two other women who died in the house.

“All the things that happened to us, we can never forget them,” she said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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Despite raids, Syrian women are still being lured and forced into prostitution in Lebanon

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