Videos showing a group of Lebanese and Syrian workers being assaulted and tortured by their employer in the Lebanese town of Majdel al-Aqoura sparked fury on Wednesday, according to local media reports.
The employer accused the cherry-picking workers of stealing a watch and sunglasses from him, charges which they denied.
In one of the videos seen by Al Arabiya English, the employer slaps the workers – some of whom have been stripped of their clothes.
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According to An-Nahar, the employer and other men also assaulted the workers with sharp objects and electric wires. They also stuffed the young workers’ mouths with potatoes.
Videos of the incident stirred an uproar on social media with people demanding security forces launch an investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.
The general directorate of the internal security forces issued a statement on Wednesday saying that on June 20, a man filed a complaint stipulating that several people who work for him stole 20 million Lebanese liras from him, the equivalent of about $700 using the unofficial rate.
The statement identified the man as the employer who assaulted the workers, adding that an investigation has been initiated into the incident and the employer has been summoned to give in a statement.
The municipality of Fneidik in the governorate of Akkar where some of the workers live issued a statement describing the incident as a “heinous crime,” adding that the employer falsely accused them of theft because he did not want to pay them their wages.
On Thursday, MP Michel Moussa, the chairman of the parliamentary human rights committee, condemned the “abhorrent torture” of the young men, and called for arresting the perpetrators and holding them accountable, al-Markazia news agency reported.
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