Maid hangs herself after scandal

Published Mar 15, 2012


Beirut - An Ethiopian housemaid in Lebanon committed suicide on Wednesday, Ethiopia's consul general said, a week after video footage of her being dragged along the streets by a man and forced into a car sparked national outrage.

“I went to the hospital today and they said that she hanged herself at six o'clock this morning,” Asaminew Debelie Bonssa told Reuters, adding that the maid, Alem Dechasa, had been taken to hospital in order to recover from her forcible abduction.

“I am deeply shocked. I went to see her yesterday and I was told that she was okay,” said Bonssa.

Last week, Lebanese television channel LBCI sparked nationwide indignation after broadcasting footage of a man violently dragging Dechasa along a street in Beirut and screaming at her to “get into the car”.

Another man was then seen helping to force Dechasa into the back of the car while she squirmed and screamed “no, no, no”.

On Friday, the Lebanese Cabinet condemned the violent incident and asked for an investigation into the matter.

After the video was aired, LBCI used the car's number plate number to identify one of the men.

Outraged by the video, activists in Lebanon posted the man's contact information on internet social media sites and called for action against him.

Reports of domestic worker abuse are rife in this small Mediterranean state.

The hospital was not immediately available for comment. - Reuters

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