Ethiopia Sues Lebanese Man Over Beating of Domestic Worker

LBCI TV reporters identified the abuser seen in the video footage, via his license plate number, as Ali Mahfouz, right. (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International)

UPDATE: Ali Mahfouz Charged in Contributing to Death of Alem Dechassa

The Daily Star
By Annie Slemrod

Updated: March 15, 2012

BEIRUT: The Ethiopian consulate in Lebanon has filed suit against Ali Mahfouz, the man who was caught on tape beating domestic worker Alem Dechasa outside her consulate. Dechasa, 33, committed suicide Wednesday.

Asaminew Debelie Bonssa, Ethiopia’s consul general in Lebanon, told The Daily Star Thursday that “we have already sued him [Ali Mahfouz].” He declined to give the details of the lawsuit, saying it was “a legal issue that cannot be made public,” adding that the suit was in process before the consulate was aware of Dechasa’s death but that with this development “everyone is expecting something out of this.”

In a video released by LBCI last week, Dechasa was seen moaning as a man, later identified as Mahfouz, beat and tried to force her into a car outside the Ethiopian consulate, aided by another man.

Read more at The Daily Star.

Ethiopian Woman Beaten on Camera Kills Herself: Vigil for Alem Dechassa

TV broadcast shows 33-year-old Alem Dechassa being forced into a car outside the Ethiopian consulate in Lebanon. (LBCI)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian domestic worker that was violently mistreated outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut, as shown in a viral video last weekend, has committed suicide, Ethiopia’s Consul General confirmed to local media in Lebanon.

Alem Dechasa, 33, hanged herself using her bed sheets Wednesday morning, the Daily Star newspaper reported.

“My body is shaking and my heart is broken” said Ms. Zewditu Fessehaa, Chairwoman of the Ethiopian Social Assistance Committee in New York City, whose organization has been mobilizing efforts to assist the victim. “It’s depressing, it’s very sad and it’s unfair. She added: “As a mother I want to appeal to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to do something. Our daughters are being treated like dogs and there is nothing we can do about it.”

Ethiopian General Consul Asaminew Debelie Bonssa spoke to the Daily Star following a visit to the hospital where she was found dead. According to the newspaper, the Ethiopian consulate official said he saw Alem Dechasa Saturday and she appeared fine. The diplomat also said doctors told him they checked on her at 5 a.m. this morning and when they returned at 6 a.m. she was dead. Bonssa said he was “deeply shocked by the news.”

In New York, the ESAC chairwoman called for a collective response. “I want to appeal to everyone. We need to pull together to stop this madness,” Ms. Fessehaa said. “The cruelty directed against domestic workers is a human rights issue.” She added: “It needs an in-depth understanding, and an innovative solution within and beyond the Ethiopian community. We need people from every profession to assist us to make sure that our sister did not die in vain.”

Meanwhile, a vigil to mourn Alem Dechasa’s death is scheduled in front of the Lebanon embassy on Thursday, at 11 AM in Washington D.C.

Photos: Vigil for Alem Dechassa Outside Lebanon Embassy in D.C. (TADIAS)
Maltreated maid in video aired on Lebanon TV kills herself (MSNBC)
Maid Commits Suicide After Attack Video (Reuters via The Root)
Maid hangs herself after scandal (Independent Online)
Lebanon: Abused Ethiopian maid kills herself – VIDEO (Global Post)
In Lebanon Abuse Video of Ethiopian Domestic Worker Surfaces (TADIAS)

Video: Woman seen in Lebanon abuse video kills herself days after this footage emerged

Video: Ethiopian Domestic Worker Beaten Outside the Ethiopian Consulate in Lebanon (LBC)

65 Responses to “Ethiopia Sues Lebanese Man Over Beating of Domestic Worker”

  1. 1 Ethiopian Man Mar 14th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Rest in peace my sister. You will not be forgotten Alem Dechasa!!

  2. 2 Meron Mar 14th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I have never been so shocked in my life. I don’t know what to say. I am holding strong and holding my tears. I am so sorry for her family.

  3. 3 Mossisa Deressa Mar 14th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    RIP Alem Dechasa ! What has been done is done our task now is how can we prevent the many Alem Dechasas for falling to the same tragedy? How can eliminate poverty?

  4. 4 tsega the south Mar 14th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    These are beyond human rights. It is arrogance. It has to be given series attention.

  5. 5 Mame Mar 14th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    What a tragedy and what a waste of young beautiful women’s life! Rest in peace yene konjo! My heart goes out to her family who are probably the most hurt right now. Some times it is the living that is hurt by this kind of tragedy! I am very very sorry!

  6. 6 queenAbesga Mar 14th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Her abductor has her killed to justify what he said during his interrogation. He tried to so say in his first interview the ground for his cruelty was to save her from her suicidal attempt. Now the moron did this, thinking everybody will buy this claim. any way. Koshashoch

  7. 7 Samuel Mar 14th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    It is a real sad story. How can we ever be sure that she did indeed commit suicide? There are many Ethiopian maids who have indeed been charged with capital punishment and convicted and they were quietly put to death with no legal representation. Till this day, there has not been a single Arab who has been charged and convicted with such a crime. Most crimes towards Ethiopians go unnoticed and everything passes with the word “suicide” Again, how can we be sure she committed suicide?

    I wish we had a real country to fight for the rights of Ethiopians everywhere. I also wish our Ethiopian communities in North America were united to have a real voice. Sad and depressed! Samuel

  8. 8 Tazabi Mar 14th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    We need a decentralized, grassroots efforts to collect and disseminate data and advocate on behalf of this issue. Vigil is good but protest only is not going to do the job. We need more. This issue should not be a one side political issue. Every Ethiopian owns this issue. People should do whatever they can with their own friends and community at church, idir, school, mosque, etc. This is an Ethiopian Issue. Stop the slavery of Ethiopian women!

  9. 9 Begudu Mar 14th, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I am sick and tired of this crying and whining after the fact. The utter negligence of Ethiopian government towards its citizens right, the cheapening of being an Ethiopian in this administration, is beyond sickening. Why I am going to protest against coward Arab men when my government is the one encouraged them. Where is the outrage of the government when our sister’s thrown from the building top, burned with boiling water, dragged in front of the Embassy. Words can not describe my disappointment with Ethiopian Government.

    Alem was stretching her body to touch the flag, not knowing the flag is not the same anymore. There I said it! We will wip for you for years! RIP

  10. 10 Jerusalem Mar 14th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    REST IN PEACE THE BEAUTIFUL Alem Dechasa!!!! i AM SAD, shocked, terrified by what happened to you!

  11. 11 Somali Patriatic Mar 14th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    This is horrific, shameful, inhuman and unacceptable to any wise humanbeing on earth. They say she committed suicide!, i don’t beleive that, the true is she is murdered!!!. i see this idiot coward who is draggig and beating this poor girl who is fighting for her life, shame on you fool and son of a evil. why are the people in the street who are watching and witnessing this barbaric act not stopping this mad ediot? I guess they have no sympathy for her, means they don’t like africans, iguess if that would be an Arab girl it would have been a different situation.What about the ethiopian Embassy? why didn’t they help and rescue their own citizen? who’s tortured, abused infront of them? unacceptable to me!!!!! I condemn what happened to the sister, meantime the lebonanesse government must bring this guy to justice so he can pay the price.

  12. 12 MIMI Mar 14th, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    @Somali, My sentiments exactly! Thank you! Such a sad situation! What happened to Alem is horrific. They need to get to the bottom of it. Hold not only the criminal but also Ethiopian officials whose negligence of their duties to protect one of their own. I have one very important question I want to ask the so called Ethiopia representatives. Why do you get your salaries? why do you collect taxes from poor people when you don’t know how to take care of business? It does not make sense to me.

  13. 13 Girma H. Mar 14th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Forever, unforgetable Alem. Let GOD put your soul in peace. I am very very sorry for what happenend on you. I was expecting your going out of the hospital, unexpected happened to you. We will not forget you as we have more Alems. the Ethiopian Embassy there in Lebanon also take the lion share for what happened, they could take care and save from doing so as you traveled to.

  14. 14 Elias ma.tawkal Mar 14th, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I do not live under the cave not to know what the Arabs like based on my experience when they deal with Black people in general and non-Muslims. The whole point is where is the roaring outrage headed by Tigriyan governmnet? What is the immdiate response and what action did they take? The Ethiopian Governemnt did what they are good at:Nothing I am definately sure the goverment since 1991 adopted a policy not protect under any circumstances non-Tigryans abroad.I have heard a lot of things regarding the Ethiopian Embassy stuff abroad- to began with they are criminally incompetent and most of them do not even know how to communicate. The response from the Embassy staff was impassive-and I do not know how Emperor Tewodors, Menilik, Hapte Georgis, Hail Selassie and even tiny Mengestou Haile Mariam would have reacted by watching this clips. Mind you, these are leaders who confronted big powers for their crap long before the creation of Lebanon. Meles’ deferntial and Uncle Tomish behaviour reduced every proud Ethiopian to such wretched state where we end up giggling to death-camp in a country like Yeman, Lebanon, Saudi-Arabia and even Eritrea with no protection from Meles Zenawi.

  15. 15 Silent majority. Mar 14th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    What a sad day for Ethiopia. What a heart breaking story. As I read this news today I couldn’t help myself but cry at my desk. Ayeyee Yenate lij (Baredu teyaa). Folks, our country is going in the wrong direction. We failed her collectively. Ethiopian Intellectual on his interview on ESAT Dr. Fisseha Eshetu said it’s time to find common ground b/s what we saw for the last 20yrs is not acceptable. Its already failed in the Ethiopian and world standard. Our collective dialog on our countries direction is overdue. Its time to work with any living creature to make this a reality. This is my pledge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 16 antonio Mar 14th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    There needs to be a grassroots effort for all people of africa to speak out against the violent acts of people in these countries toward ethiopian women. There is something fundementally wrong culturally when its ok to abuse ,rape ,or harass a women ..any women. The ethiopian government, the embassy and the host country should all be held accountable for the gross mistreatment of these women.

  17. 17 Debre Tabor Mar 14th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    May she rest in peace. I hope and pray that all the good people of Lebanon will not stand idly by, but will now demand an inquiry into this matter and serve notice that those who abuse women receive the shame and punishment justice demands.

  18. 18 Mintesinot Mar 14th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    The dudes in Lebanon should know that there are many Lebanese immigrants across Africa as well, particularly in West Africa. Ethiopia should take this issue to the African Union – we should treat them on our land the way they treat us on their land. That way we do respect each other! This is an African issue – not just Ethiopian. Africa should unite on these matters! It is only Africans ourselves that can bring respect to our citizens! These guys kiss an ass for an American or European, and then see how they disrespect Africans!

    Lebanese folks should learn to respect Africans there if they want to be respected in Africa! If governments in Africa are not taking measures, citizens should start acting – stop buying stuffs coming from Lebanon! Together, we have power! We do not have to be rich to get the respect that we deserve! We have defended fascist Italy with swords and shields and bare foot soldiers, and have got the respect of the world and generations! It is about respect as a human being!

  19. 19 Samuel Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:33 am

    What a tragedy! There are over 50.000 or so Ethiopians living in Beirut, no one was there to be at her side after seeing the brutal attack? We know these folks are lairs, so why do we have to repeat what they say of her committing suicide when we could be 100% sure that they have murdered her? They shot down our plain, and they blame us, they kill our sisters, and they blame us. R.I.P sister!

  20. 20 Winston Gandhi Luther, Jr. Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:58 am

    All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

  21. 21 Yidinekachew Mar 15th, 2012 at 1:56 am

    First, my deepest condolences to Alem Dechasa’s immediate family whoever they are wherever they are. I don’t know you, but I feel your pain and my utmost respect to your Alem Dechasa. I am sure she is sleeping tonight in peace evening in haven, in good, safe place, in god’s hands. Even though my heart and eye cries out for her that we failed her and her family as good neighbors, as good citizens, as a country. In just 50 years Ethiopia has been reduced from a pride of Africa to a shame of Africa. Africans and the black Diaspora are leaving Ethiopians in the cold in 2012. The deafening silence for justice is disappointing. This is not the first time this is happening. Almost 90% of maid-abuse cases that come from the middle east involves Ethiopian woman. why? That’s a good question to ask because just look at the facts. Before Alem Dechasa (bless her soul) passed away, another beautiful soul, a 23 years old Ethiopian run away after her employer’s 3 sons raped her in Kuwait. Just recently, another Ethiopian girl hanged herself in Saudi Arabia on January 1st, 2012. A year earlier another Ethiopian women jumped to her death from a third floor of a building. And a year before that two Ethiopian maid committed suicide in Bahrain in less than a week both drinking detergent. The same year, in less than two weeks four Ethiopian women committed suicide in Lebanon. How can any responsible, decent person on this earth ignore this?

  22. 22 Goldie Mar 15th, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I have one thing to say . The country is not the land, the river, the mega electric generating and exporting dams, the factories, the roads, the buildings. The country, sir, is the people. Without the people, the land, the river, the mega electric genearting and exporting dams, the factories, the roads, the new fancy buildings, etc, mean nothing. The Axum obelisk, sir, was built by actual Ethiopian human beings. Laibela did not come from the blue sky. It was built by Ethiopians. Adwa was won by Ethiopians. The people are Ethiopia’s asset. Alem is ours. She died for us. Where are you, sir, when they crying for help?

  23. 23 Mimi Mar 15th, 2012 at 3:13 am

    RIP Alem Dechassa. You survived those tormentors we all watched but you gave up too soon lovely sister. I was rooting for you. I could hear my heart pounding when i read about your death. Help was on a way my sister but it’s too late now to save you. You have, however, awakened and shaken something in us. It is our tradition in this time to share our sympathies to others in time of great loss, being the biblical Good Samaritan is embedded in our tradition regardless of ethnicity, religion, race, or gender. When people are in distress we must come together as the lady eloquently said. It is Alem Dechasa today, but it could be your sister or your daughter tomorrow.


  24. 24 MZ Mar 15th, 2012 at 3:50 am

    My heart is broken!

  25. 25 Abel Mar 15th, 2012 at 3:52 am

    omg I couldn’t stop Crying!!! My sister it was not you who deserve to be dead it was the so called Ethiopian official in Lebanon !!! you are bloody a$$$$$$ hole!!!!!!!!!! Asaminew Debelie Bonssa you have blood in your hand !!!you will be responsible for her death !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. 26 Kuki Mar 15th, 2012 at 5:33 am

    No Words can express the inhumanity of this situation! I am just curious if these folks can do this in broad daylight in a public place, I cringe at what is taking place in their private homes. RIP Alem! You are truly in a better place and forgive us, your country men and women, for failing you in every way.

  27. 27 wg Mar 15th, 2012 at 6:01 am

    So painfull and unforgivable! RIP my poor sister.

  28. 28 Ewnet Mar 15th, 2012 at 6:11 am

    It is outrageous, that in Addis Ababa, no one seems to care. Her blood must be avenged.

  29. 29 amoraw Mar 15th, 2012 at 6:28 am

    PM. Meles do something plz

  30. 30 weelmal Mar 15th, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I cried when I saw her resitance and when I heard her voice screaming for help. But there was no help coming!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. 31 Hirut Mar 15th, 2012 at 7:50 am

    ……. so sad.

  32. 32 Abebe Mar 15th, 2012 at 8:37 am

    The most surprising thing is that it happened in plain view of the Ethiopian consulate. What a shame, what is the consulate there for, if it can’t even save a national beaten in front of our flag?

  33. 33 SEYOUM Mar 15th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    RIP ALEM DECHASA , lets unite to hear our voice on social medias. like ara did in arab awakening to avert arabs curil treatment

  34. 34 unknown Mar 15th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I called cnn to report this story….please pressure cnn to report the issue ..also call the labennon Embassy

  35. 35 Michael Fassil Mar 15th, 2012 at 11:48 am
  36. 36 Selam Mesfin Mar 15th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Words of Alice Walker

    “As for those who think the Arab world promises freedom, the briefest study of its routine traditional treatment of blacks (slavery) and women (purdah) will provide relief from all illusion.
    If Malcolm X had been a black woman his last message to the world would have been entirely different. The brotherhood of Moslem men-all colors-may exist there, but part of the glue that holds them together is the thorough suppression of women.”

    Alice Walker said this:
    From In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose [1983]

    So True.

    RIP Alem.

  37. 37 Ethiocyber Mar 15th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    OMG! I’m saddened, yet so proud of her. She is a true Ethiopian; she possessed all quality and characters of Ethiopianism.She fought till the last breath of her life to shade a light on the despicable atrocities taking place in Mideast countries not only to Ethiopian women but to all the innocent women from many countries around the world trying to make a living working Mideast. We should create a domestic workers’ victim advocatefoundation in her name; she is our national hero. I will see you all at Dechasa Memoral Fund raising in Washington D.C. I think that is the least we can do, but we can do much more by curtailing all the political bickering and focus on developing our country, so our beautiful women won’t have to work for those prehistoric barbarians.

  38. 38 Ivanhoe Bell Mar 15th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    My heart weeps for my Sisters who are abused. As a Jamaican my Blood is that of an ETHIOPIAN. Please my Brothers and Sisters of ETHIOPIA love thy ALMIGHTY JAH reigns forever PRAYS for all World and PEOPLES.

  39. 39 wosen mekonnen Mar 15th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    God bless her soul. The international human rights should push the lebaneese government to take action please let us organize a petition and submit. We shoild start here and protect those looking for a better life slavery time is over.The movie slave haveput it well.

  40. 40 caleb Mar 15th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    The root cause of all this misery is poverty. And who creates that poverty to drive people and vulnerable women to migrate is the Ethiopian government. Hence the blame should not be on Lebanese or the cruel man who was brutalizing our sister.

    The blame goes to the Ethiopian government. first, it created poverty to the point of people buying Gursha, 2nd it is not stopping women to migrate to arab countries where basic human right is not respected.

    This is an injustice to one of our sister. but as usual, many Ethiopians don’t feel it. they only feel it when they themselves are on the receiving end. No amount of petition and back door process to international human right changes the arab attitude towards defenseless workers. what need to be changed is the Ethiopian government itself. that is the root cause of all ills we hear in a daily basis

  41. 41 Sebelewongel Mar 15th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    In all fairness to this govt, Ethiopia banned economic migration to Lebanon in 2008 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. That’s not to say that more should not be done. What this should teach us is that we have a person who occupies the highest office in the land and this individual is either uneducated of the value of the Ethiopian brand that he presides over or he has secret disdain for the very idea of Ethiopia that you and me imagine. I don’t think he sees it the same way. Otherwise, why the mysterious silence or lack of leadership on this obvious issue of national morale. He is too busy killing somalis without the consent of the Ethiopian people, while Ethiopian women are being burned with hot boiling water, being beaten and dragged on the ground and killed in daylight. I believe Alem Dechasa was murdred by her employer. He has every reason and motive to kill her to cover his ass from future prosecution in court of law. For him, she is just collateral damage. For us, she is a beautiful person who did not need to die. It’s unfair.

  42. 42 sew zemedea Mar 15th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Let me cry inside uuuuuuuu. Let me mourn hehehehhhmmmm. That is what is left for me
    I Never never be quite am working with good friends.

  43. 43 Kokebe Mar 15th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Who really knoooooows what took place? Why would she do something like this to herself? How tragic could this get. She died what!! after she got humiliated like that on the streets. Someone there must be responsible. Very very sad news.

    May your soul rest in peace.

  44. 44 A Mar 15th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    It’s a real shame that it took the gov’t this long to react to this long-standing mistreatment of Ethiopians in the Middle-East. If we do not require others to value the lives of Ethiopians, no matter what their status or position in society, no one will value us no matter how far we go. What does it mean to be Ethiopian these days?

  45. 45 Tsedey WagShume Mar 15th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I don’t believe that a woman who put up such a fight, would turn around and kill herself. In the video she tries to hold on to any and everything, and furthermore she struggles with all her might not to be shoved in the back of that black BMW. I believe she knew what Mafhouz was capable of doing, and if he had the gall to act like that in public I don’t even want to know, what he does behind closed doors. Either way it is obvious he must have gotten away with it before!!! I guess in Lebanon things are different…..all you have to do is leave your address with the magistrate after being arrested for brutally assaulting a PERSON and even though all the signs are pointing to you as the murderer, you should be entitled to your freedom. As the rest of the cover up team goes on a bed sheet hunt.

    Where is the security on the Ethiopian Embassy compound???!!!
    Why didn’t anyone call the police (spectators, or Embassy officials)??
    Why was Alem taken to a psychiatric hospital (de la Croix hospital)???

  46. 46 Yonas Mar 15th, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Glad there is finally action. However, The Ethiopian govt is a day late and a dollar short. You can’t bring her precious life back! Hope this is a lesson moving forward! We need to change the whole situation.

  47. 47 Yordanos Mituku Mar 15th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Very good that Ethiopia is holding the coward Ali responsible in court of law. The Lebenese courts need to make sure justice is served! Otherwise, Ethiopia should sue Lebanon in the International tribunal Thank you. Feeling a little better.

  48. 48 Tsega Mar 15th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    @Mintesinot – so true. Its an African issue. This is something the AU needs to support Ethiopia on. They need to make sure the perpetrator is brought to justice, publicly, and it is reported in the news until he is in jail permanently.
    The people who saw and did nothing, need to account for doing nothing.
    The Ethiopian(& all other African countries) embassies all over the Middle East, need to be armed/directed by the AU to protect its citizens by any means necessary.
    We need to send a strong message to these people, that we have a right to be here (anywhere) – and dont even dream of continuing this kind of treatment of any immigrant to your country, legal or illegal.
    Lastly, we as African people need to make a mental note to ourselves, the best place for us is in our homeland. And send a message to our governments – put programs/systems in place for us to do for ourselves; we will be creative and express ingenuity in doing for ourselves and our countries and continent OVER going to other countries and be treated like slaves, under class people, or animals by its citizens.

  49. 49 solomon Mar 15th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you zewditu fesseha!

  50. 50 solomon Mar 15th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Let me add that there are they are kidney thieves in Lebanon, we dont know where her kidney is we dont know whether she killed herself we need independent investigator the ethiopian gov also should do everything possible to bring this to justice responsiblity she is a citizen of ethiopia not first time when ethiopians are killed if we are not represented and protected what is the embassy presence wake up wake up this is injustice she is our sister it doesnt she is this tribe short black or whoite rich or poor we ask the international community to help us i this tragic situation

  51. 51 Aklilu abebe Mar 15th, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    This is absolutely disgusting, inhumane, and disrespectful for any one to be dragged on the street and beaten up in front of their country’s embassy. This innocent hard working sister and daughter of ours did not go there to have fun, but she went there to earn a living and help her relatives back home in Ethiopia.

    Alem Dechasa is not the only victim, many of them before her faced the same fate in the hands of the brutal Arab women and men as well. The only thing that makes this one different is that the mistreatment she went through is captured on the video and aired for the world to watch and witness the cruelty of the Lebanese society towards foreign domestic workers.

    I am also appalled by the behavior of the Ethiopian consulate. Ambassador Asaminew could have done better job, and stood his ground in defending and protecting that innocent woman rather than letting them snatch her away by force. So why is the Ethiopian Embassy there in the first place if it does not provide sanctuary when the life of an Ethiopian is at a stake. Could Ambassador Asaminew have done differently if Alem was the daughter of one the Ethiopian ruling elites. Yes, I bet you he could have.

    Last year Ethiopian Air plane carrying many of our citizens blew up over the Mediterranean Sea, few minutes after taking off from Beirut Air port. The Lebanese government then blamed the incident on the Ethiopian pilot, as lacking experience. How in the world can they say things like that to a pilot who had 20 plus years of experience under his belt. They show no respect for the Ethiopian people. They even refused to allow the Ethiopian inspectors to have access to the Black Box to find out the truth about the Airplane’s mid air explosion. Why does all this has to happen on a daily basis without any retaliation from the Ethiopian government?

    I am sure if the Ethiopian government had taken firm stand against any nation who mistreats its citizens and destroys its property ( the air plane ), the repetition of this latest incident would have been averted.

    May be the Lebanese government from past incident came to the conclusion that the Ethiopian government doesn’t care that much about its citizens who are engaged in a menial job.

    Regardless of the kind of job they are doing Ethiopian citizens need to be defended and protected from any type of assault any where in the world. We all know if a Lebanese citizen is chased, beaten and dragged in front of any Arab Embassies here in Ethiopia, the whole Arab world would go to war with Ethiopia for humiliating and mistreating its citizens .

    The Ethiopian Embassies in the Middle Eastern countries should wake up and start defending and protecting its citizens regardless of their socioeconomic background, and the sophistication of their job skills. When any Ethiopian national is dragged in the street and beaten up in front of Ambassador Asaminew’s nose ( Ethiopian Embassy compound), that shows disrespect to the Ambassador and to the 80 plus million Ethiopian population.

    Ambassador Asaminew could have given Alem a sanctuary inside the embassy compound and protected her from her assailants. Had he done that Alem would have been alive today. Asaminew failed not only Alem , but he failed all Ethiopians who looked up to him for his protection and his continuous involvement until the situation becomes under control.

    This being a very unfortunate lesson to learn , I hope Ethiopian Ambassadors in the future have to work hard in full capacity to defend and protect equally all its nationals any where in the world, regardless of their ethnicity, and their socioeconomic background.

  52. 52 Mintesinot Mar 16th, 2012 at 1:53 am

    It gets even better!
    Here you go – they want 45,000 Ethiopian housemaids every month. And the reason they want Ethiopian girls is, well, apparently , Ethiopian maids don’t seem to have a government that requests basic rights at work.

    Read and Judge!

  53. 53 TheMuler Mar 16th, 2012 at 2:17 am

    First and foremost…My deepest condolences to Alem’s family. Next, I want to express my sadness and ANGER! Just looking at the man’s face…and he has this typical face belonging to a voyeur and a rapist… makes me desperately reach out and then…crash it! I am feeling so madly angery yet i feel impotent becuase i can’t do nothing except write these words which are nothing more than a muted silence…may the good Lord look after the other sisters…i know that there are lots and lots of good people who have hired the service of our siters…may the good Lord bless you for that…

  54. 54 Moko Mar 16th, 2012 at 8:13 am

    RIP my dear Sister. Word can not describe how sorry I am. We as a human, but not just Ethiopians failed to protect you. This inhumanity and disgrace behaviour of the so called Arabs must be broadcasted internationally and the mistreatment of an individual/human in this part of the world is globally recognised.
    Yes Ethiopia Sued, but will the Lebanese Court fairly treat this case and serves justice? I hope an extradition of the bastard to Ethiopia is granted and only then justice will be served.
    God bless your soul my darling Alem.
    You will be missed forever…

  55. 55 Mintesinot Mar 16th, 2012 at 8:30 am


    Africa should be reminded of one of its greatest son’s – Bob Marley’s – advice:
    AFRICA SHOULD UNITE! Then its people will have a formidable force!

  56. 56 Rules for Posting Comments Mar 18th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Tadias encourages thoughtful discussion. All comments must follow one simple rule: Stay on topic. We reserve the right to remove comments.

  57. 57 Daniel Mar 18th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    [The news regarding Alem] is shocking. May she rest in peace

  1. 1 In Lebanon Abuse Video of Ethiopian Domestic Worker Surfaces at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Mar 14th, 2012 at 5:58 pm
  2. 2 Photos: Vigil for Alem Dechassa Outside Lebanon Embassy in D.C. at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Mar 16th, 2012 at 1:04 am
  3. 3 In Memory of Alem Dechassa: Reporting & Mapping Domestic Worker Abuse in the Middle East at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Mar 17th, 2012 at 2:16 am
  4. 4 UPDATE: Ethiopia Seeks Full Investigation Into Alem Dechassa’s Death at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:26 am
  5. 5 UPDATE: Ali Mahfouz Charged in Contributing to Death of Alem Dechassa at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Mar 23rd, 2012 at 8:13 pm
  6. 6 UN Urges Lebanon to Investigate Ethiopian Maid’s Death at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Apr 3rd, 2012 at 9:32 pm
  7. 7 Alem Dechasa’s Choice: An Impossible Decision and a Lonely Death at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Apr 9th, 2012 at 6:03 pm
  8. 8 Ethiopian & Lebanese Reactions to the Death of Alem: Memorialized Discussion Between Two Activists at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Apr 14th, 2012 at 12:35 am
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