This Is Lebanon has received multiple testimonies about the alleged abuse committed by Chadi Chami, the owner of Chadi Trading. The testimonies come from women who came to Lebanon as domestic workers through his agency in Jbeil (Byblos).
Three testimonies, and likely many more as of yet unheard accounts, speak of beatings until the victims blacked out; of long-term physical damage; death threats; and keeping women locked in a room in inhumane conditions. Chami confiscated phones, took away their money, and barely provided them with food.
Names have been changed to preserve the victims’ identities.
Aliya: “The owner of this agency keeps girls in one small, congested room – it even has bed bugs. I experienced this after I came to Lebanon and asked to change employers. He [Chadi Chami] can keep you in that office even for a month.
We used to go for days eating only one side of bread with one picon [small piece of processed cheese], twice a day. He put a camera in that room. You’re not allowed to stand, or even talk to the person next to you.
He used to beat girls, though he never laid a hand on me. Between that room is his office and the washroom, which is always locked. We used to spend the whole day seated on the floor and since we were many, we couldn’t even change positions.
When he closed his office and everyone had gone home, that’s when we used to take showers in the WC. After that we would sleep on some small old mattresses full of bedbugs. We would wake up at 6 in the morning and clean the office and the entrance, and go back into our room for the rest of the day. That’s the routine in that office. He employed one Ethiopian girl who was monitoring us. Only she could talk in the room.”
“Until now my leg is not normal. He beat me too much until I blacked out. I want to know more information, until now I didn’t get justice. God be with us for justice. The agency told me that if I open my mouth, they’d send me to the Philippines, dead.” – Sonia
“I’m not ashamed to demonstrate what he did to me in front of the media, I hate him. In this agency [there were] a lot of black girls, from Cameroon, Ethiopia. It’s not only me he is beating. That time he beat me he take my cell phone, even my Philippine money. I don’t have access to anyone.” – Helen
Update: June 28, 2020
This Is Lebanon received this message about Chady: