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Assistance request: Kenyan family seeking to find the body of dead relative in Lebanon

On September 15, 2010

On September 1, 2010, Ethiopian Suicides blog posted that a Kenyan migrant worker was found dead after falling from the sixth floor while trying to escape her employer's house. The Kenyan migrant was not named.

On September 8, a comment was published under the post which said "One of our sisters based in Lebanon who was due home last weekend is still missing. No trace."

Also on September 8, Ethiopian Suicides received several emails from people in Kenya who received a call saying that their relative in Lebanon has died, and that they are trying to locate the body to send it back to Kenya. They called several Lebanese hospitals in vain. They asked for assistance.

On September 12, an article entitled "Tragic end to a woman's big dreams" was published on a Kenyan news website. The article said:

She wanted to live on the fast lane and chose to achieve it in a foreign country. But six months later, Rose Adhiambo called from the Lebanese capital Beirut, requesting special prayers. "Tomorrow is the D-Day, please pray for me," she told her aunt, Margaret Olwande two weeks ago. These were to be Adhiambo’s last words as she planned an escape from her employer.

The 24 year-old woman from Nyanza, has now gone missing and is presumed dead.

She is said to have fallen to her death from the sixth floor of a building in a bungled bid to escape from a house where she worked as house help.

They quoted the blog post and then added:

Now Adhiambo’s relatives in Kenya believe their daughter could either be dead or was in grave danger.

Her employer has confirmed her death through an agent but has declined to speak to her relatives.

The woman worked as house help and had been complaining about slavery-like working conditions. She got the job through an agent based in Mombasa last December and relatives now regret why they allowed her to travel to Lebanon.
Olwande says her niece was an ambitious girl determined to have a better future.

Adhiambo got her early education in Kisumu before travelling to Mombasa where she joined her relatives. Her parents, Maurice and Jael Otete who live in Nairobi believed their daughter had landed a good job in the Middle East.

"We did not know the kind of job she was going to do in Beirut," says Alfred Otete, Adhiambo’s elder brother.

It later turned out that Adhiambo tried to escape when life became unbearable.

Her phone went dead soon after and neither her employer nor the agent in Mombasa would offer an explanation.
Her brother Alfred later turned to social network, Face book to help trace his sister.

"I spent several hours browsing for any possible information but without success," he says

Adhiambo’s elder sister, Ms Sylvia Odhiambo told The Stadard that her sibling always wanted to retun home and suspect she may have been killed by her employer or was being detained.
"They claimed she jumped to her death from the sixth floor of a building, but a Kenyan friend who lives on the outskirts of Beirut denies ever hearing about such an incident," says Odhiambo.

The Kenyan who is missing in Lebanon seems to have found the job through Interlead Limited, "the #1 job site in the Kenya" in its own words. When contacted, the representative of Interlead Limited said, according to the article:

"Our business ends after we find a sponsor (employer). We do not know how she ended up in Lebanon,’’ Muhamad said. He confirmed Adhiambo had died but did not know when the body would be flown home.

Interlead Limited advertises for jobs in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but not in Lebanon.

The full story is on this link:

We at the Anti-Racism Movement at IndyACT, a group of activists in Lebanon working on migrant rights and against racism, are trying to help. If you know anything on this issue, or heard about the case in Sahel Alma (above Jounieh), please contact Farah on fsalka at indyact dot org & Wissam on was717 at gmail dot com or on +961 70 066880

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