Lebanon 'sexual slavery' network run by ex-Assad regime officer

Lebanon 'sexual slavery' network run by ex-Assad regime officer
2 min read
05 Apr, 2016
One of the two ringleaders of a busted Lebanon-based network of sex slaves, mostly Syrians, was identified by a surviving victim as a former interrogator for Syrian intelligence.
An ex-Syrian regime torturer has been identified as the leader of a sex-slave ring [Getty]
Emad al-Rijawi, the Syrian man allegedly running the sexual slavery ring busted in Lebanon last week, was an interrogator in the Syrian regime's norotious Aerial Intelligence Branch.

Rijawi was apparently nicknamed "the torturer", on account of his alleged horrific abuses against the victims he enslaved to sell as sex slaves.

The revelation was made by Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which supports the Syrian regime in the civil war, quoting escaped victims.

Rijawi is said to have constantly carried a whip to "discipline" girls who fail to do their "job". So brutal is the man that he was sacked by the Syrian authorities, before moving to Lebanon where he began engaging in criminal activities, most notably sex trafficking. 

Both Rijawi and the other ringleader Ali Hassan remain at large.

The Syrian regime has used torture on an industrial scale against dissidents and activists.
The girls, mostly of Syrian origin, were subject to psychological and physical torture, and were threatened that naked pictures and videos of them would be published online if they refused to have sex with clients.
Last week, the Lebanese authorities said police freed 75 girls held against their will in raids to bust the largest known sex trafficking ring in the country. They were rescued from brothels in a Lebanese coastal town. 

The girls, mostly of Syrian origin, were subject to psychological and physical torture, and were threatened that naked pictures and videos of them would be published online if they refused to have sex with clients.

Some of the Syrian sex slaves had been "rented" by clients for months at a time in exchange for up to $20,000, a report said Monday.

Up to 200 forced abortions were carried out on the victims, prompting the arrest of a Lebanon-based doctor.

Some lawmakers have now accused unnamed senior government officials of complicity in the sex trafficking ring dismantled by police last week.