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Dubai court jails couple for torturing maid

On March 19, 2007

The following article is reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) and has been republished in The Daily Star -

A couple who tried to treat a Filipino maid like an inmate of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison have been jailed in Dubai for three years for torture and sexual harassment, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The victim, Faija Salamat, 21, said she was threatened with rape and tortured with hot coals and ice cubes by her Iraqi employer and his Kuwaiti girlfriend, according to the English-language paper 7Days.

"They were drinking together when my madam just slapped me. He then started touching me intimately. He held my hands while madam undressed me," she was quoted as saying following the court verdict.

"Madam stubbed lit cigarettes onto me near my private parts," said Salamat recounting her July ordeal. The 29-year-old man was screaming, "I will rape you," as his partner laughed.

Salamat said she was covered in ice cubes and cold water and made to sleep on the floor in a room for three days before eventually managing to flee, the daily added.

Salamat was lucky enough to escape. Let this case speak for the hundreds of others who are still facing such abuse from their employers.

And to conclude -

Dubai has been in the spotlight over abusive labor practices following riots in March and April by thousands of Asian construction workers to demand better pay and living conditions.