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“Personally, as I woman, I hate that, to be kept inside, under control, [but] this is the law,” Sardouk said.
“If the woman signed the contract, and she’s aware about what she’s going to do and agree with this, then I cannot defend her if she agreed with this.” Locking the women inside their hotels during certain hours is one way the authorities try to keep the industry tightly regulated, and Lebanon’s Directorate of General Security does commit a significant amount of man power to super nightclub law enforcement. Trafficking in Person’s report that came out in June states that Lebanon’s General Security reported “47 complaints of physical abuse, rape, and withheld earnings of foreign women working in adult clubs in 2008.” The report said the complaints “may have involved conditions of involuntary servitude.” Most of the cases, the report says, “were settled out of court and the victims deported.” Because the “artists” are deported, the reported cases of abuse may be far lower than actually occur in reality.
About 4000 Ukrainian, Russian and Moroccan women like her come to Lebanon every year to work in Lebanon’s adult entertainment industry, of which the estimated 130 super nightclubs in the country are a staple.
Many Lebanese aren’t even aware that prostitution is legal in Lebanon.
“[People] don’t have to go [to the super nightclubs] … If you don’t want to see the sea, don’t go to the beach,” she said, as she recalled a trip to Amsterdam where police were handing out condoms to prostitutes in the streets.
The super nightclub owner said he treated his artist employees well, and even bragged that it’s not unusual for a client to fall in love with one of the prostitutes.
If you don’t control everything, you will lose money.” The super nightclub owner said his club usually has between 15 and 25 artists working every night of the week.
On average, 10 to 30 customers come in every evening. “I usually make ,000 to ,000 a month in profit,” the owner said.
Still, it appears that circumventing the law is relatively easy.
Police corruption in Lebanon is nothing new, and several people acquainted with the industry interviewed for this article said that, at least in the recent past, law enforcement has often looked the other way if enough money is offered.