Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Press Release by CLDH


The Lebanese Center for Human Rights calls the General Director of General Security to show leniency in a heart’s matter
In 2010, Fayez Afram, an Iraqi refugee in Lebanon meets Rihanna, a migrant domestic worker from Bangladesh. Truly in love, they decide to get married. Rihanna leaves her employer, who lodges a complaint against her for theft.

Then, the crushing judiciary system sets off. The 23rd of November 2011, Rihanna is arrested and condemned to six months of jail for « escaping » from her employer’s. However, the Justice recognizes that she is not guilty for any theft. She will spend all in all around one year in jail, before succeeding to leave the safety house of Caritas where she was allegedly retained against her will.

On the 3rd of September 2012, the two lovers are arrested by the gendarmerie.

At present, Fayez serves a one month prison sentence for « complicity » in the « escape » of her wife from her employer when the General Security is ready to send back Rihanna to her country.

Nevertheless, the current « guarantee » system (Kafala) in Lebanon is against Human rights as it makes the employers the « owners » of their house employees. The proof is there, the word « escape » is used by the Justice to qualify their resignation.

However, nothing in the law specifies that the foreigners don’t have the right to fall in love and decide to get married.

Thus, the Lebanese Center for Human Rights is asking the General Director of General Security, the General Abbas Ibrahim, to take the exceptional decision to authorize Rihanna to stay on the Lebanese territory, so that she will have the chance to go on with her life with the man she chose.

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