Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hammering Nails into Her Bones

Director’s Comment: Due to total absence of codified and institutionalized rule of non-sectarian laws applicable uniformly to all citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, horrendous crimes against dependents (children and wives) and defenseless expatriates, especially housemaids (modern slaves) occur frequently. The cruel punishment of this unprotected Sri Lankan maid is not isolated or least severe according to personal accounts made available to CDHR and other groups.
The fate of the estimated ten million migrant workers (mostly Asians), in particular house servants, is determined by their employers whose rights are determined by the government’s pre- modern judicial system. This is the same judicial system that hands down harsher punishments to gang-rape victims (see Bint Al-Qatief) than to their rapists. Defenseless maids, family drivers and other expatriate laborers in Saudi Arabia rarely report the heinous crimes in fear of losing their jobs and/or of deportation, and when they do their employers (masters, owners) are hardly punished for their crimes, especially if the victims are non-Muslims. The pre-ordered expatriate laborers are treated as hostages, their passports are confiscated by their employers upon their arrival to Saudi Arabia and they cannot move, mingle with others, or communicate with their families without their employers’ permission. They are not paid regularly and some of the maids are on duty 24/7.
Not only are the unlucky expatriates mistreated by many of their employers and even more so by the arbitrary Saudi sectarian judicial system, but they are also ignored by their own governments. This is due to the Saudi government and its businessmen’s heavy-handed financial influence on those governments and their businesses. The expatriates are not only forgotten and ignored by their governments, but also by the UN, the World Trade Organization (WTO), migrant workers’ agencies, labor unions, Saudi Western democratic allies and all Arab and Muslim institutions in the West.
When it comes to the Saudi government’s domestic and foreign policies, as well as their practices and thereof repercussions on the Saudi people and expatriates, everyone looks the other way.
The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR), calls on the migrant workers’ agencies, international labour unions, the World Trade Organization, human rights groups as well as decent peoples and governments, to stand up and expose the rampant abuses of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. Read Article

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