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Security forces to shutter Lebanon's cabarets.

Summary: About a dozen cabarets may be shut down in Lebanon's red-light district as part of a series of operations being carried out by security forces to clamp down on human trafficking rings, a security source told The Daily Star.

BEIRUT: About a dozen cabarets may be shut down in Lebanon's red-light district as part of a series of operations being carried out by security forces to clamp down on human trafficking rings, a security source told The Daily Star.

The source said authorities who are investigating a sex slave ring busted last month have received new information on the absence of health control at cabarets in Jounieh's Maameltein district, located north of Beirut, known for prostitution.

He said the lack of checkups for women employed there has led to a spread of different sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

The finding has prompted judicial authorities to investigate the issue, which may lead to the closure of the venues. LBCI reported Monday that authorities have recently discovered that 50 girls were being used as sex slaves at 13 cabarets in the district. The report said the cabarets will be forced shut, and the girls transferred to aid groups.

The Daily Star's security source denied the cabarets had been shut, and was unsure if the girls mentioned in the LBCI report were employed sex workers, or forced prostitutes.

The crackdown comes after the Internal Security Forces late last month freed 75 Syrian girls held against their will and forced into sexual slavery in Maameltein.

Testimony from the girls said men had gone to Syria promising them jobs at Lebanese restaurants, but they were then used as sex slaves upon the men's return to Lebanon. The bust led to the dismantling of what authorities described as Lebanon's most dangerous human trafficking group.

More than 20 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. Police Friday said they had freed two more Syrian girls forced into prostitution south of Beirut.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Apr 12, 2016
Words:360
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