A 23 year old Ghanaian maid in Beirut, Lebanon Faustina Tay has allegedly been murdered by her employer. The deceased had on the morning of March 13th contacted an activist group to inform them of the abuse she had endured at the hands of her employers.
“God, please help me” Miss Tay wrote. 18 hours later, she was found murdered in a car park, near a 4 storey building, where her employer lives.
A forensic doctor, who carried out autopsy on her corpse however submitted that the head injury suffered by the deceased was consistent with “as a result of falling from a high place and crashing into a solid body”.
The doctor concluded that, he could not find any marks of a physical assault and a search of her employer’s house, also did not indicate any sign of struggle. Subsequently, the local police opted to treat it as a suicide.
Her employer Mr. Hussein Dia said he and his family were asleep when the incident occurred and denied ever physically assaulting Miss Tay.
Investigations however revealed that in the week prior to her death, Miss Tay had sent a series of text messages and a 40 minute long voicemail to the Canada based activists and her brother in Ghana detailing reoccurring physical abuse by Mr. Hussein Dia.
Tay told the group that Dia and and one Ali Kamal, the owner of the domestic worker’s agency that had brought her to Lebanon, had each beaten her twice between January 16 and March 6.
“I’m scared. I’m scared; they might kill me,” she said, in a chilling voice note to the activists.
She was also concerned that speaking out could lead to more abuse and might lead to the consfiscation of her phone, which Mr. Hussein had done twice before.
Lebanon is notorious for being a hotspot for African and Asian domestic workers abuse. Foreign workers are employed under the Kafala system, where an employee’s legal residence is tied to their employer, making it difficult to escape torture and abuse.