Skip to comments.Guest Worker May Lose Digits, Toes After Being Tied Up in Bathroom for a Month (Saudi Arabia)
Posted on 03/22/2005 7:50:06 PM PST by Land_of_Lincoln_John
JEDDAH, 23 March 2005 A 25-year-old Indonesian woman who came to Saudi Arabia as a guest worker will have several of her fingers, toes and part of her right foot amputated because of gangrene after being tied up for a month in a bathroom by her Saudi sponsor, who also apparently beat her severely, injuring her eye and knocking several of her teeth out.
The reason given was that the woman, who worked as a maid, had not finished cleaning the house. The Indonesian government is demanding justice as Riyadh police continue to investigate this disgusting crime.
The story began to unfold Saturday when Nour Miyati was taken to the Riyadh Medical Complex (Shumaysi) after her sponsor decided to get her medical help for the gangrene that ensued from being tightly bound during her monthlong bathroom imprisonment.
A physician said she was rolled into the hospital in critical condition by her sponsor. According to the preliminary medical report, there were strong marks, almost burns, on her ankles and wrists and severe contusion and bleeding in one eye, broken teeth, and evidence of being severely beaten on various parts of her body.
When she was rushed to surgery, doctors found gangrene in her limbs. It will prompt amputation of fingers on both hands, part of her right foot and toes on her left foot in order to save her life.
Bilal Fathallah at the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh told Arab News that they were contacted by one of the nurses at the hospital after which they visited the patient.
Nour Miyati told Fathallah that her sponsor punished her because she had not finished her housecleaning completely. She also told the official that her hands and feet had been tied up and that she had been imprisoned in a bathroom for a month. She said her sponsor warned her not to talk to police or embassy officials.
The medical report showed that there had been no sexual assault.
An official at Al-Suwaidi police station said the investigation is ongoing. He said if a connection between the accused and the crime is established the case will be referred to public prosecution and the accused would be kept at his workplace which is a military sector because he is a military employee.
An Indonesian Embassy official said they are waiting for the investigation to be completed. We are waiting for justice including her being paid all due her for the year and two months that she worked because her sponsor has not paid all her salary, the official said.
Lawyer Dr. Bassim Alim said according to the law, there is the public right and there is the personal right. The former is that the accused is imprisoned at the same location of his work because he is in the military.
The latter, the personal right is that he pays for the damages for the amputation and other physical damage determined and assessed by the judge.
M. Sukiarto of the Indonesian Embassy noted earlier this year that a total of 2,000 housemaids have been repatriated to Indonesia so far this year, with many alleging maltreatment, nonpayment of wages or physical abuse by their sponsors. At that time, the Indonesian government called on the Kingdom to provide more protection for Indonesian female workers in addition to measures already in place.
Forgot one, Ping
Well, that's the ROP for you.
Maybe Indonesians would be better off working in Christian households.
What's the hold of this infernal moon cult anyway?
The accused will be reassigned to another place and he will miraculously be not found. I've seen it too many times. Routine stuff in the Kingdom.
On a Muslim website, I once read where a man asked if he could justifiably have sex with a female "servant" since he was her employer aka owner. Suprisingly, he was told no. Employee does not = concubine.
He will be fined about $500. She will be deported.
The accused will be reassigned to another place and he will miraculously be not found. I've seen it too many times. Routine stuff in the Kingdom.
You're absolutely right. She is likely to not only not get paid, but sent home as an undesirable. Saudi men can do no wrong.
Oh, this will be a surgical amputation, not a "Chop-Chop Square" amputation.....Islam means peace!/sarcasm off
Behavior like this is part of the culture of Saudi Arabia.
Power corrupts and.....
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I don't believe there was no sexual assault. She will be lucky to get home with her life. And the sponsor is a member of the military- of course. He will probably be promoted to the interrogation unit.
The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily
Tuesday, 28, September, 2004 (13, Sha`ban, 1425)
Recruitment Agents Denounce Fee Hike for Maids
K.S. Ramkumar & M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News
JEDDAH, 28 September 2004 Recruitment agencies have denounced the Indonesian governments latest proposal to increase the fee for domestic servants heading to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf. If it becomes more expensive to recruit an Indonesian maid or domestic help then well have to explore other countries to meet our growing requirement, a spokesman for a prominent recruitment agency said yesterday.
Unless the Indonesian government clarifies its stand on this, an air of uncertainty will continue to prevail among recruitment agencies, Abdul Rahman Bakhidry said.
Confusion prevails among the agencies employing and recruiting domestic servants in the Kingdom since the publication of a report in Okaz newspaper on Sunday, which said quoting official sources in the Eastern Province that the Indonesian government has communicated them its decision to increase the fee for all Gulf-bound domestics from $100 to $150 per head effective from Oct. 1.
There is no justification for the increase, said Khaled Al-Ghamdy, another recruitment agencys spokesman. If the report is correct then it amounts to the Indonesian authorities trying to cash in on the huge requirement of domestic servants in the Kingdom and elsewhere in the Gulf, he added.
Were not aware of any move to increase the charges for domestic servants. The report has surprised us and weve taken it up with the appropriate authorities in our country, the press attaché at the Consulate General of Indonesia said.
At present 70 percent of domestic servants in the Kingdom are from Indonesia. They are estimated to have crossed the 700,000 mark. A majority of them are maids.
Official and consulate sources say that orientation courses have been introduced in Indonesia for potential domestic servants before they head to the Gulf. Courses include training in the basic Arabic language, as well as Arab lifestyle, culture and food habits. While local agencies say that the introduction of such courses has delayed the arrival of domestics from two-three weeks to a month or two, employers fear that there would be longer delays from Oct. 1 with the introduction of the increased fee. Potential candidates will find it difficult to comply with the increased fee and so there may be further delay on this account, Abdul Rahman Hafiz, a local employer, said. The steep increase will hike the recruitment charges from SR3,100 to SR3,500 which Saudi-bound domestic servants can ill-afford, he added.
Meanwhile, more than 500 Indonesian housemaids are awaiting deportation from Saudi Arabia, while Indonesian Minister of Industry and Trade Rini Soewandi is visiting the Kingdom with an agenda to boost relations between Riyadh and Jakarta. Soewandi, who held wide-ranging talks with Riyadh Governor Prince Salman and Finance Minister Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf here yesterday, will also visit Jeddah together with some 80 Indonesian officials and businessmen.
In fact, more than 1,000 cases of Indonesian maids have been solved by the Indonesian Embassy this year alone, said M. Sugiarto, labor officer at the embassy.
Speaking to Arab News, Sugiarto also said a recommendation has been made to the Saudi government to provide mandatory insurance cover to all female workers in a move to safeguard their rights and interests. He said that Jakaratas plan to set up advocacy teams or support groups for housemaids in Saudi Arabia is in its final stage.
Initially, Indonesia will set up some nine advocacy teams in different cities and towns of the Kingdom to safeguard the interests of its workers and monitor cases of harassment. These teams will be entrusted with the responsibility to collect information about the Indonesian workers and defend them within the framework of local laws and regulatory provisions of the host country, said Sugiarto. The move is significant keeping in view the growing number of cases of abuse and maltreatment reported in the past.
Of late, these cases were strongly criticized by many Indonesian government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They even called for terminating the export of female migrant workers to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Malaysia.
Six Indonesian housemaids committed suicide this year, prompting calls for more protection and help. The Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh has been receiving nearly 10 complaints every day from maids, while the consulate in Jeddah has been handling some five to seven complaints daily.
The total number of workers mainly maids, repatriated back to Indonesia, has increased from 3,198 in 2002 to 3,508 in 2003. These workers were sent to Indonesia after their cases were amicably settled by the embassy with the help of employers and officials.
Maid abuse update
Continuing my coverage of maid abuse in Bahrain is an update on the tragic case of the Filipina that I quoted from the GDN in News item 2 of yesterday's post. From today's GDN:
A Filipina who fell four floors from a Manama building was trying to escape from a manpower agency's offices. Eight other maids were found huddled in the same office, sources revealed yesterday.
Rosila Trajia, 45, made a makeshift rope out of her own clothes to lower herself from the fourth-floor window of the Sami Manpower Agency, near the Concord International Hotel. But it came apart under her weight and she fell to the ground, where passers-by found her lying badly injured at around 12.15am on Monday. Sources said that she had tied her suitcase to the end of the makeshift rope and lowered it out of the window. She then climbed out of a sliding window and was trying to climb down when she fell. The other end of the makeshift rope was found tied to a table leg, said sources.
When police arrived at the single bedroom flat, they found eight Indonesian housemaids in the kitchen. "Some were sleeping, while some were sitting on the floor in the small kitchen," said the sources.
Ms Trajia suffered head and other injuries and was yesterday still on a ventilator in Salmaniya Medical Complex, where she was said to be stable after emergency surgery. Officials at the manpower agency were unavailable for comment yesterday. Sources said the maids were in transit, en route to employers. It is understood the agency is housed in what was designed as a one-bedroom flat. Police are reportedly investigating the incident. A report in yesterday's GDN that Ms Trajia fell from the Concord Hotel was incorrect.
It is absolutely disgraceful that, what I assume is, a legally registered "manpower agency" would lock up nine women in a one bedroom flat. It is disgraceful for anyone to do this, legally registered or not.
On a brighter not however, it is a relief to see that the authorities are taking steps to curb these hideous practices. Also from today's GDN:
Bahrain is stepping up a campaign to combat human trafficking. A special watchdog committee has been set up to study violence and other abuse against housemaids. Another has been formed to speed up the creation of a safe house for abused expatriate workers. Another panel has been set up to spread awareness of human trafficking and the need to combat it. A fourth committee has been set up to examine speeding up judicial procedures involving expatriates.
They were created at a meeting of a committee on combating human trafficking, which comprises representatives from the Cabinet, the Capital Governorate and the Foreign, Justice, Interior, Information and Labour and Social Affairs Ministries.
Although I am unconvinced right now that setting up these committees will do much to reduce the abuse of migrant workers, it is a step in the right direction. It is therefore important that we encourage moves such as this one, and this one, in the hope that it will add momentum to the movement for labour reforms in the future.
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More on maid abuse
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Unfortunately, the issue of maid abuse will be a recurring theme on my blog. Maids in Bahrain seem to get the worst of it since they are not protected by the same labour laws as all the other migrant workers. For some reason Bahraini law regards maids as sub-human, and not worthy of the same rights as others. Here are three recent news items from the papers.
News item 1:
A Bahraini has reportedly spent his third night in police custody after being accused of raping his housemaid.The man, thought to be in his late 20s, was held again last night after appearing before prosecutors yesterday.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Bangladeshi woman was sent for medical tests and is due to report to the prosecution today. She claims she was raped by her sponsor, who works as a security guard, over a week ago at his Isa Town home. The sponsor's brother-in-law reported the matter to the police, who arrested the man on Saturday.
It is understood the accused's wife has now moved out of the marital home and is now staying with her family. The alleged rape is said to have taken place less than a month after the woman first arrived in the country.
Chan'ad's note: The person who allegedly raped the maid was a security guard. I feel safe.
News item 2:
A Filipina was critically ill with multiple injuries last night, after falling from the fourth floor of a building in Manama. Police are investigating how 45-year-old Rosila Trajia fell from the Concord International Hotel. Sources said it was thought she may be a housemaid.
She was found on the ground at 12.15am yesterday by passers-by, who called an ambulance. Ms Trajia was taken to Salmaniya Medical Complex with head and other injuries and was last night said to be on a ventilator to help her breathe, following emergency surgery.
No further details were available.
And finally, news item 3:
An Indonesian housemaid was arrested from the home of a Bahraini family after she refused to work. The reason for her refusal was not known.
Chan'ad's note: The GDN does not know the reason for the maid's refusal to work, so let me take a few guesses: She was raped? She was beaten? She was not allowed to leave the house? She was not fed properly? But the most outrageous part of the story is that she was arrested for not working!
Hmmm... many are worse off than this poor unfortunate woman.
maids slaves have their passports taken away and are raped or molested by their saudi employers.
If they try to run away or report this to the Saudi authorities (who don't listen to these women anyway) all the employer has to do is accuse her of theft, and she will probably end up at Chop Chop Square after Friday prayers, as one of the attractions...
Joel Mowbray (back to story)
February 12, 2003
Saudi Slavery in America
As part of its massive PR offensive, the House of Saud is trying to convince the world that its treatment of women is improving. But a first-hand witness would see a far different reality: women who are literally locked inside homes, paid little or nothing as domestic servants, worked up to 20 hours per day, and verbally and physically abused. This sad state of affairs exists not just in Saudi Arabia, but in Saudi homes right here in the United States. But there are people who know all about it, and even allow the practice to continue unabated on American soil: the U.S. State Department.
Saudi abuse of domestics occasionally makes news in the Western press?but only when it happens outside of the kingdom. The Saudi princess who pushed her Indonesian maid down a flight of stairs in Orlando achieved some notoriety, but the case fizzled because State refused to give a visa to the victim?she had traveled back to Indonesia to attend her mother?s funeral?who was scheduled to testify in the criminal trial. What didn?t get much coverage: after the prosecutor?s case crumbled without the star witness, the charge dropped as part of a plea bargain was indentured servitude.
Tens of thousands of women are abused in Saudi Arabia each year. According to the Saudi government, some 19,000 domestic servants?almost exclusively foreign women working in the kingdom as maids?escaped from Saudi homes in the twelve months prior to March 2001. (The real figure is likely far higher, because the government statistic counts only those women who go to government-run shelters for ?runaway? domestics, which human rights experts view as no more than a PR ploy.) Women who show up at Saudi police stations seeking help are instead locked up and remain jailed until their employers reclaim them.
According to the dozen women with whom this author spoke, conditions in Saudi homes in the U.S. are no better than in the kingdom. One woman, ?Jamila?, discovered a cyst in her right breast?but her Saudi employers wouldn?t let her see a doctor. It wasn?t until the young Filipina escaped the Northern Virginia house more than two years later?when the cyst had grown to four inches?that she was able to seek medical attention. ?Maryam,? whose Saudi employers took her to a college town in Illinois, was passed around like mere property to friends and relatives of the employers. Denied a bed, she was forced to sleep on the hard floor in a cramped basement room.
Domestics who work in the United States don?t have access to an underground railroad like the type that exists in Saudi Arabia?women there often hide in the trunks of cars as they are driven to a safe house or a port city?but thankfully many come into contact with Good Samaritans like Cielo, a Filipina woman who helped five different women escape from a single Saudi diplomat?s home during a four-year period. Each time, Cielo?who worked as a maid down the street?persuaded the women that it was both acceptable and possible to flee. After prepping them, Cielo would pull around the cul de sac in her van, stopping in front of the Saudis? house. The women then darted out to the van?and freedom.
Women abused in Saudi homes on American soil need heroes like Cielo, because they receive no assistance from the State Department?even though officials there know what happens behind closed Saudi doors. Diplomatic Security (DS), State?s law-enforcement arm, has received ?many? calls from police stations over the years about Saudi diplomats abusing domestic workers, says a DS officer who spoke on condition of anonymity. But State has yet to provide oversight or inform domestic workers of their rights.
Notes Keith Roderick, president of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, who personally helped a woman escape a Saudi home: ?When you meet these women and hear their horror stories, it breaks your heart. But after you think about it, it gets you angry, really angry?because State should be doing something about this, but then they turn a cold shoulder to women who want nothing more than to live free.?
Editor's note: The following is adapted from the Feb. 24 issue of National Review
©2003 Joel Mowbray
Contact Joel Mowbray | Read his biography
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