Migrant Rights

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East

Raped Filipino Worker Faces Lashing after Miscarriage in Saudi Prison

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Jan 20 2010

GMA News TV (Philippines) reported today about an alarming development in the case of a Filipino worker who was raped in Saudi-Arabia this August and jailed for it. After miscarrying the fetus, the woman now faces lashing before being released.

As we've previously reported, the woman who worked as a janitor was raped by a Bangladeshi co-worker last August. In September, as part of the reparation process, the woman had to undergo a physical examination during which it was discovered that she's pregnant. Since September 11 the woman has been jailed at the Hafer Al Baten Central Jail for having an "illicit affair". Due to the bad conditions in the prison, in December she suffered a miscarriage. After spending time in the hospital she was transferred back to prison.

The form of Sharia law applied in Saudi Arabia sentences woman who have had sex out of wedlock - even in cases of unproven rape - to prison and lashing. If the woman is pregnant, the lashing is carried out after the end of the pregnancy. The number of lashes is determined in a hearing before the woman is freed. The Filipino woman told her mother over the phone that the usual number of lashings her fellow prisoners received after giving birth was a hundred lashes. The court date for this case is unknown, but according to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, it is set to happen this month.

The woman's salary was the sole income of her family back home. Her three children, aged 15, 14 and 5 relied on their mother's salary to afford their education. Since September they have been unable to go to school.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East