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Kenyan migrant women protest outside Beirut consulate

August 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Dozens of Kenyan women have staged three days of protest outside Nairobi's Beirut consulate this week, demanding repatriation after Covid-19 restrictions and deepening poverty among migrants have complicated their exit from crisis-ridden Lebanon.

(CNN)Dozens of Kenyan women have staged days of protest outside their country's Beirut consulate this week, demanding repatriation from crisis-ridden Lebanon.

CNN contacted the consulate but has yet to receive a comment about the protests.

Last month, CNN reported allegations of abuse at Nairobi's consulate, run by honorary consul Sayed Chalouhi, in Beirut.

Multiple women said they were exploited, verbally abused or physically assaulted by Chalouhi and his assistant, Kassem Jaber, both Lebanese nationals.

Jaber has denied all allegations of wrongdoing leveled at the consulate.

Several Kenyan women have been staging their demonstrations until the early hours of the morning, calling the consulate's employees "thieves" and at times facing off with the assistant consul at the gates of the building, according to video seen by CNN.

CNN contacted the consulate but has yet to receive a comment about the protests.

In addition to the allegations of abuse, four women told CNN they witnessed Chalouhi suggesting that Kenyan women seek sex work in order to cover their consular expenses.

All of the witnesses said Chalouhi and Jaber regularly overcharge Kenyan women for consular fees.

The Kenyan government has said it will dispatch a fact-finding mission to the Lebanese capital to look into CNN's reports of mistreatment at their country's consulate.

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