Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Ethiopian domestic worker dies while trying to flee her employer’s house: What investigation?

On August 9, 2012, a few media reported the death of Alani Silvo, an Ethiopian domestic worker aged 24 who fell to her death while trying to escape with a rope from her employers’ apartment in Beirut.

CLDH team went to the scene and noted that in spite of the circumstances, no measure had been taken to consider the incident as a potential crime: the place had not been secured and the employers of Ms. Silvo were circulating freely in the neighborhood.

However it seems that if a person tries to escape an apartment located at the 12th floor of a building with a rope, it suggests that he/she is being held there against his/her will, and potentially abused. Art 569 of the Lebanese criminal code prescribes a prison sentence for the crime of unlawful confinement, and life imprisonment in case the deprivation of liberty lasted more than a month and/or if the person deprived of liberty was subjected to physical or psychological torture. The crime is considered as aggravated where the death of a human being results, as a consequence of fear or any other cause, in relation with the deprivation of liberty.

Does the Lebanese Justice not consider migrant domestic workers as human beings?

CLDH demands the Justice to address the deaths of migrant domestic workers without any discrimination: their death should be considered as suspicious, like the death of any Lebanese, and the employers immediately arrested in case of alleged sequestration, ill-treatments or any other crime.

Beirut, August 14, 2012

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