Trafficking survivor says accused not responsible for her suffering in Lebanon

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By Binta Bah

A Gambian woman, who was trafficked to Lebanon, has told the High Court that the accused, Marie Mboob, has no role in the sufferings she faced from her employer in Lebanon.

Amie Sanneh said Marie Mboob, who is accused of participating in her travelling to Lebanon for the purposes of trafficking, helped her secure passport to travel after she approached her.

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“She didn’t force me to go to Lebanon. I was facing lots of problems and asked for her help to be able to travel to Lebanon. She refused but I insisted. I faced lot of difficulties in Lebanon but it’s none of her fault. She is not responsible for my sufferings and I know I would not have suffered if there was a communication between us,” Amie told the court.

She said Marie finally gave in and helped her travel to Lebanon. “When I landed in Lebanon, the woman I was supposed to work for, Madam Zainad picked me from the airport but as soon as I arrived in her home, I was cut off from my family. My passport was taken away from me,” she said.

She said she was only paid six times for the two years she worked for her, adding that the payment started four months after her arrival in Lebanon.

According to her, she was able to wire money home only once to her family which she said was sent through her boss as her passport was seized.

She said she worked at least 19 hours a day and was frequently accused of theft by her boss whenever her payment was due.

“I worked from 6am until 1am in the morning. I rotate within her family who don’t pay me. I eat twice a day and that’s after they had already eaten.”

She said she finally managed to contact the Gambian Consulate in Lebanon after a Gambian she met at a supermarket in Lebanon gave her a contact number. She said 38 Gambians were finally repatriated to the Gambia on an emergency passport.