Protesters target Ethiopian consulate over domestic worker abuse


A group of Ethiopian protesters gathered outside the Ethiopian Consulate in Lebanon Sunday, saying their community is ignored and treated with callousness.

The group pointed to a recent videotape in which an Ethiopian domestic worker, Alem Dechasa-Desisa, was physically assaulted by a man identified as Ali Mahfouz. The woman was taken to a hospital where doctors said she hanged herself March 14.

“Nobody helped her,” said a woman named Sarah. “How did she die? She didn’t kill herself. She’s not crazy.”

Other protesters said consulate workers are more motivated by money than helping Ethiopians.

Another woman named Sarah told the Daily Star the consulate, located in Badaro, often absolves itself of responsibility to Ethiopians who enter Lebanon illegally, though they have no problem renewing the passports of the illegal immigrants.

“We are living here,” said a woman named Berti. “The [consulate] should help us, but they only want money.”