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8 Years of Forced Labor

On September 6, 2007



“I still cannot believe that I am out of this ordeal that I have undergone for the past 10 years,” said Anista Marie, 40, who since 1999 hasn't received her salary. Marie called up Arab News a little over 3 weeks ago saying she has been imprisoned and abused in the home of her sponsor for the past decade. She was rescued at a villa in the Khansalallilah district in Riyadh, about 12 km from the city center.

According to Marie, the household consisted of three women with four teenage daughters. “There were no men in the house,” she said. “They assaulted me when I would say that I wanted to go home. It was worse when I talked about the salary.”

“I do not want anything now but to fly home to see my children who have been suffering like orphans without their parents,” said the mother of four, whose husband had passed away during this time. She said that she was paid for the first two years of her employment, and she was allowed to go out with the family. Under the impression that her sponsor would let her visit her family back home, she bought clothes for her children planning for such a trip. “Back then I bought things for my children,” she said. “They’re still packed in two suitcases and the clothes can’t be used by my children now because they’ve grown out of them.”

Arab News

Update: Here is the latest on Anista Marie's case.