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Beaten Sri Lankan domestic worker countersued by employer for child abuse

On January 14, 2010

The Jordan Times reported on Thursday about a Sri Lankan domestic helper in Amman who spent 12 days in prison after her employer sued her for theft and child abuse.

According to reporter Hani Hazaimeh, Ishara Hemanthi was jailed soon after a beating by her employer resulted in hospitalization. She was detained at the Jweideh Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre after the employer filed a lawsuit accusing her of sexually abusing their seven-year-old daughter, according to the embassy's lawyer Motasem Yassin. According to the report, Hemanthi's employer also lodged another complaint with the authorities, accusing her of stealing JD1,000, a diamond ring and two gold rings.

The report said: "The North Amman First Instance Court judge interrogated the 23-year-old Sri Lankan in connection with the theft case, but let her go for lack of evidence, after which she was sent back to the Family Protection Department (FPD), Yassin told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that his client was sent to the Criminal Court to be interrogated in the sexual abuse case."

"The interrogation was conducted without a translator, although the prosecutor knew that the defendant could not speak or understand Arabic, and without the presence of any representatives from the embassy," Yassin said, adding that the prosecutor ordered that Hemanthi be detained for 14 days.

Despite the fact that the domestic helper filed a complaint against her employer with the authorities, her lawyer said the employer was never arrested or questioned by the police.

"Although Hemanthi has a medical report stating that she was subject to severe beatings and had bruises all over her body, the police did not issue an arrest warrant against her employer," Yassin noted.

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