BEIRUT: Police have shut down three nightclubs in Lebanon’s red-light district, allegedly used as brothels, at the request of Mount Lebanon’s general prosecutor, a security source told The Daily Star Tuesday.
The venues are among the 13 nightclubs and cabarets under inspection in Maameltein in the city of Jounieh. Authorities will later decide whether to shut down the remaining 10 after inspections are over.
The decision to close the venues came after inspections showed an alarming spread of different sexually transmitted diseases - such as HIV/AIDS - due to the lack of check-ups for the women working there, the security source said.
LBCI reported Monday that authorities have recently discovered that 50 girls were being used as sex slaves at the 13 nightlife venues. The report said the cabarets will be forced to close, and girls transferred to different NGO’s.
The crackdown comes after the Internal Security Forces late last month freed 75 Syrian girls held against their wills and forced into sexual slavery in Maameltein.
The bust led to the dismantling of what authorities described as Lebanon’s most dangerous human trafficking organization in the country.
More than 20 people have been arrested in that bust, including a gynecologist who admitted to performing about 200 abortions on the girls over a period of four years.
Last week, police announced they had freed two more Syrian girls forced into prostitution in Khalde, south of Beirut.
It said the girls had been held since March 12. They were led to believe that they would be hired as singers, but upon arriving at an apartment in the town, they were held, had their identity papers taken, and forced into prostitution.
One man was arrested.