BEIRUT, Lebanon — An Ethiopian maid who was filmed being abused in Beirut has committed suicide, Al Jazeera reported.
Alem Dechasa, the maid, was filmed being dragged by her hair and beaten by Ali Mahfouz outside the Ethiopian consulate in Beirut. Mahfouz then is seen shoving the struggling Dechasa into the back door of his BMW. The video sparked a controversy and threw light onto a persistent problem of abuse faced by some of the estimated 200,000 migrant workers in Lebanon.
The 33-year-old woman hanged herself this morning with the bed sheets of Psychiatrique de la Croix Hospital bed she was staying in, according to The Daily Star.
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Ethiopia banned economic migration to Lebanon in 2008, according to The Daily Star, after it "probed the human right violations and domestic violence Ethiopian migrants face behind closed doors in Beirut while employed as maids." But many women still travel to Lebanon to look for work because demand remains strong. Scores of domestic workers have died, committed suicide, or been killed by their employers in Lebanon over the past decade.
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Ethiopia's consul general in Lebanon, Asaminew Debelie Bonssa said he had seen Dechasa on Sunday and she seemed well. He told the Star he was "deeply shocked" by the news.