Kenya to investigate alleged abuse of Lebanon workers

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Emmanuel Igunza BBC News, Nairobi

Kenya is sending a team to Lebanon to investigate the alleged mistreatment of Kenyan citizens at the Beirut consulate.

This comes after a CNN investigative report into allegations that Kenyan women working in Lebanon as domestic workers had been exploited or assaulted by Kenya’s honorary consul and his assistant.

Dozens of women interviewed by the US broadcaster and other non-governmental organisations in Beirut claim they were beaten, verbally abused, overcharged for consular fees and even told to go into sex work to get money to help with their repatriation.

But the consulate officials, who are both Lebanese, have denied the allegations.

Local reports say a team from the Kenyan embassy in Kuwait, which oversees the Lebanese consulate, will head to Beirut to establish the facts.

“We are planning to travel to Lebanon for a fact-finding mission in the first week of August, because our airspace is currently closed,” the Kenyan Ambassador to Kuwait Halima Mohamud told the Daily Nation.

Last month, more than 100 Ethiopian migrant workers were dumped outside their embassy in Beirut, amid an ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon, heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.