Maid Filmed During Beating Kills Herself

An investigation has been launched in Lebanon after an Ethiopian housemaid committed suicide a week after video was aired of her being dragged through the street and abducted.

Ethiopia's consul general said Alem Dechasa killed herself on Wednesday, a week after the LBCI television channel played amateur footage of her being lifted off the ground by her hair and forced head-first into a car.

The horrifying footage sparked national outrage in Lebanon.

The consul general, who saw Ms Dechasa on Tuesday, said she had been taken to hospital in order to recover.

The Lebanese cabinet condemned the violent incident and ordered an investigation into the matter before Ms Dechasa died.

But the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for a wider investigation into the ill treatment of domestic workers.

It also wants to know why there appeared to be no follow up into Ms Dechasa's case after she received hospital treatment.

HRW director for Beirut Nadim Houri said: "Obviously her death is a tragedy. What makes it a bigger tragedy is that we think it could have been prevented.

"Her case is not unique, unfortunately, in Lebanon. In the study released a year-and-a-half ago, we saw an average of one death per week of migrant domestic worker in the country, often they commit suicide, so it's a broader systemic issue.

"So first, we need an independent investigation into first the ill-treatment of this woman and, secondly, why she was not properly followed up when she was transferred to Deir al Salib to get proper treatment."

The video showed a second man helping a first one as he forced Ms Dechasa into the back of the car whilst she screamed: "No, no, no."

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

Activists in Lebanon posted the man's contact information on social media sites and demanded he be sued by the courts.

Mr Houri said taking the case to court would help highlight the extent of the problem and its prevalence.

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