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justice-news2.png2nd May 2016

Dozens of Syrians forced into sexual slavery in derelict Lebanese house

Victims were tortured and only left house for abortions and treatment for venereal diseases in case that has shocked country.

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Tucked in a leafy suburb of the Lebanese town of Jounieh, a short drive from the sparkling Mediterranean, stands a monument to human cruelty.

In this derelict two-story house, 75 Syrian women were forced into sexual slavery, the largest human trafficking network ever uncovered in Lebanon.

Here, the women were imprisoned after arriving from their war-torn country, sold for less than $2,000, and forced to have sex more than 10 times a day. Here they were beaten and tortured and electrocuted, and sometimes flogged if they didn’t get enough tips.

The windows and balconies are barred – giant cages where windows are painted black, depriving the women even of sunlight.

The women left the house to get abortions, of which they had about 200. They also left to be treated for venereal diseases, contracted after being forced to have unprotected sex with customers, or to be treated for skin ailments, brought on by their lack of exposure to the sun.

Police and judicial officials say the women were trafficked from war-torn Syria and Iraq, recruited by agents of the network for supposedly legitimate jobs such as restaurant workers, before being imprisoned at Chez Maurice.

“They were perhaps looking for weaker families, where nobody is going to ask about the woman, such as if her father died in the war,” said Mousallam. “They are hunters. They did not for a moment treat them as humans.”

Those who resisted working as prostitutes were raped and beaten, and then forced to have unprotected sex with customers. They were sometimes electrocuted or whipped, in an environment that judges described as “a journey to hell”.

The indictment said the women were forced to have sex with customers more than 10 times a day, making between $30-70 per session, all of which was taken away by the guards, including any tips, in effect making them sex slaves.

For more information on this Guardian article go to: Syrians forced into sexual slavery