Nightmare Continues for Family of Saudi Death Row OFW

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May 29 2010

The family of Joselito Zapanta, a Filipino migrant worker on death row in Saudi Arabia, are trying to raise 'blood money' to save their son's life, since they are not satisfied with the legal aid that the government is providing (see full story here and here)

“I have spoken with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other government officials, but it seems nothing is being done,” Jesus Zapanta told UCA News.

His son, Joselito Zapanta, went to Riyadh in October 2008 to work as a tile setter. Migrante (migrant) party says that his employer did not pay his salary for six months so he left and survived on part-time jobs.

He phoned his family in May last year to say he would could send only a little money for his two young children.

The next the family heard was in June when a friend told them Zapanta had been badly beaten by his Sudanese landlord who had died in the dispute while trying to collect rent.

Joselito Zapanto went to Saudi Arabia to work as a tile setter in 2008, but after his employer withheld his salary for over six months, he left his job. He then worked at odd jobs to support himself, and tried to scrape together enough money to support his young family in the Philippines. His father maintains that he was trying to defend himself when he accidentally killed his landlord.

Earlier this week, M-R.org wrote about allegations that Zapanto had been badly beaten on death row.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East