Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Maid - Unholy Acts In The Holiest Place

The three-year jail sentence given to Zanuba Farooq As-Shawaf, a Saudi woman for brutally torturing her 18-year old maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa was "too light".
It did not fulfill a sense of justice.
She was sentenced to three years jail two Sundays ago by a judge in Madinah from maximum verdict of 15 years.

Sumiati was hospitalised in November with severe injuries.
Indonesian consulate will be filing an objection to the judge's verdict and pressing for a harsher sentence considering the extraordinary consequences that the victim suffered.
Saudi Human Rights Agency had thrown its weight behind Sumiati demanded Islamic Shariah punishment towards the Saudi woman.

The 53-year-old widow employer, first claimed  that the wounds on the maid’s body were the result of a suicide attempt.
She insisted her innocence, denied inflicting the injuries on the maid, and intended an appeal.
But the judge said everybody knows from pictures that the maid must have been beaten by someone.

After her son who had earlier told the truth to the police, she later retracted her statements and admitted to torturing Sumiati with a hot iron.
Earlier, she even accused police of improper arresting of her - during the last three days of mourning period - four months ten days - of her husband's death.

Sumiati's parents were unable to support her and her four siblings after she graduated from high school.
So on July 18, with US$112 in her pocket, she left Dompu in West Nusa Tenggara with promised monthly salary of 800 Saudi riyals (US$213) for Saudi Arabia.
She intended to send money home for her family in a small fishing village.

But four months later, November 8, she landed in a private hospital in an unconscious state before being transferred to King Fahad Hospital in Medinah on Dec. 29, 2010 in a very serious condition.

Saudi newspapers then showed Sumiati's badly scarred face, her disappeared eyebrows and a cut near the eye, a burn and missing part of her upper lip.
She was frequently beaten with wood that had effect on her front teeth too.
There were scattered wounds on her cheeks, chin, forehead and nose.
Some parts of the skin on her head were removed.
She lost a lot of blood and suffered from malnutrition.

Sumiati is unable to understand Arabic or English.
Mother and daughter of her sponsor treated her very badly - the mother frequently beat her severely and burned her with a hot iron.
Sumiati had suffered "torture of an extraordinary nature" which left her with external and internal injures.
After underwent plastic surgery, her lungs needed operation too.
She was wounded from head to toe with body burned on many places, marks of old wounds and fractured pelvis.

Her health is vital as she is the key witness.
The girl made her first appearance in court to show the Saudi judge her scars from the assault.
Her middle finger was fractured and her legs were hardly moving.

Traditionally, the Philippines has been a stronger advocate for its workers.
But Sumiati had led an unusually high-level protest by outraged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
He  ordered the Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, to go to Saudi Arabia to handle the case.

Sumiati had underwent plastic surgery, and she will have to undergo further plastic surgery as she was acted on savagely - bone breaking, hot iron put on her face, mutilation and being stabbed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs picked her uncle in Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara and the presence of an Indonesian doctor to lift her spirits.


Similar cases of abuse had repeatedly happened.
Many knew about abuse cases as they happen many times.
Another two female migrant workers are currently being treated in their hometowns in West Nusa Tenggara with the help of an NGO returning from Saudi Arabia.
Both suffered permanent injuries and have not received proper treatment.

The case has been deeply shocking and embarrassing for Saudis, all the more so because it has been seen to be part of a deeper problem.
60 more housemaids from Dompu in West Nusa Tenggara are awaiting to be sent home.


More Harrowing Tales Of Maid Abuse From Saudi Arabia

A young Indonesian woman died two months after starting work in Saudi Arabia in 2007, but her parents did not find out about her death until August this year, local newspapers reported Monday (November 22).

In another case, 27-year-old Selvia said her Saudi employers nearly worked her to death during the three years she was with the big family, the Jakarta Globe said.

The back-breaking work, which included lifting heavy gas canisters, left her partially paralysed, said Selvi, who returned to Indonesia in July.

Indonesian women who were maids or their families have been stepping forward and telling local newspapers about hardships and abuse in the Middle East kingdom since two maid abuse cases were reported here last week.

A crowd of about 90 people protested outside the Saudi embassy here Monday over the recent death of 36-year-old Kikim Komalasari, whose body was found in a dumpster.

Fourteen maids who had gone to the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah to seek redress told the English-language Saudi Gazette that their employers made them work for nothing for as many as 13 years, the newspaper reported Monday.

Sumiati Mohammad Badri, 67, started work with a Saudi family in Makkah in 1993. For nine years, her employer did not pay her any salary.

“Whenever I asked to be paid, he used to say, ‘Your money is in the bank’,” said the maid from Cilacap in Java. All she got was food and a place to sleep.

She was then sent to work for her employer’s mother. When the latter died about seven years later, the family paid her 50,400 Saudi riyals, the report said.

She is now seeking the consulate’s help to get back 64,800 riyals, the total amount she said she is owed for the first nine years of work.

The Saudi Gazette also reported Monday that the woman accused of inflicting serious burns and cuts on 23-year-old Sumiati Salan Mustapa had been charged and sent to a prison in Medina.

The Saudi woman, who is in her 50s, claimed Sumiati was “reckless” in doing her work and reportedly admitted using an electric iron to burn the young woman, the report said.

Sumiati would need plastic surgery for the injuries to her face.

About 1.2 million Indonesians are working in Saudi Arabia, most of whom are women working as maids.

The radical Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Monday threatened to conduct sweeping raids against Saudi nationals in Indonesia, if the Saudi government did not properly punish the culprits responsible for the abuse.

Most Indonesians choose to show their anger online and in the media. Many want the government to stop sending, at least temporarily, women to work as maids in Saudi Arabia.

Jakarta has already barred its women from going to Jordan, Kuwait and Malaysia after a spate of maid abuse cases.

Source: .anytimesnews November 23, 2010
More to follow...

1 comment:

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