Footage of maid’s violent arrest emerges

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Jul 12 2012

Though we try to avoid unfounded assumptions that jeopardize the credibility of migrant abuse cases, this video appears to document the grievous mistreatment of a foreign worker by police agents. Several Ethiopian forums identify the woman as a national, but her identity remains unconfirmed. The country in which this incident occurred is also unknown, though it is very likely a Gulf nation. If you have any information regarding the exact location of this incident, please leave a comment or contact us here.

The video illustrates a clear violation of the detainee's rights. The woman is alone, and yet is "restrained" by several men. Her relentless screams eerily reflect the injustice migrants face from receiving countries; migrant workers enjoy few legal rights across the Gulf, and rarely receive the professional assistance necessary to navigate through a foreign judicial system that is already predisposed to bias against them. Migrant workers usually do not have the funds to hire their own legal representation, and sending-governments generally fail to provide support to their citizens unless or until they are at risk for execution.

Detained migrants may not even have a translator to help them understand the charges against them and the proper means of redress, significantly reducing the quality of their defense. Even disregarding whether or not migrants are apprehended legally, or whether they are guilty or innocent, they are systematically denied their fair day in court - an essential right of all accused persons. The Gulf's inequitable justice system has claimed many victims in the past - just a few examples are available here, here, here, and here.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East