Do Not Go To Work in Saudi Arabia
Dozens of readers objected to my article If Only Sarai Sierra Had Read My Blog She Would not be Missing in Turkey, saying I was racist, bigoted, ignorant, disgusting, stupid, pathetic, a social misfit, a redneck, a fat-ugly-loser idiot, arrogant, offensive, a crazy lunatic rapist, hideous, a moron , that I had the mentality of a Mussolini or Hitler, and many, many more nasty names because I warned my readers not to visit or travel to any Muslim country.
It's amazing I can even walk under the weight of all those epithets. I gave links and citations to support my point of view yet not a single dissenter rebutted my argument with a citation or link to support their view. All I got was, "I've been to Muslim countries many times and nothing bad ever happened."
Although it is incontrovertible that the wearing of seat belts saves lives, there are hundreds of thousands of drivers that will tell you that they have been driving for years without a seat belt and nothing bad ever happened to them. But does such an excuse mean I should refrain from informing my readers that wearing seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008 [DOT PDF]?
In this article I want to inform my readers that if they know anyone who is thinking of going to work in Saudi Arabia to warn them to think again, especially if they are female. The Saudi death row is filled with a high proportion of domestic workers, especially females. Here is how it works: Saudis do not view other Muslims as being more than domestic animals, here on Earth to serve Saudi masters. Saudi employers will in most cases pay them little if anything, keep them as slaves, and abuse them. When female domestic servants refuse to be raped, they are warned that their employer will file charges against them for stealing or some other bogus crime and so spend years in a Saudi jail (1).
Those readers who dismiss my warning as a racist, bigoted, unfounded rant, please tell that to Rizana Nafeek, 24, a Sri Lankan domestic worker who was beheaded :
Human Rights Watch has warned other countries against sending female workers to the Saudi kingdom: "Employers may accuse domestic workers, especially those from Indonesia, of witchcraft. Victims of rape and sexual assault are at risk of being accused of adultery and fornication." The penalty in Saudia Arabia for witchcraft, adultery, or fornication? Death.
I suppose Human Rights Watch is racist or bigoted for issuing these warnings?
I don't want my readers to believe this is just a male Muslim problem. Female Muslim employers are just as bad. One domestic worker was burned with an iron to her face and stabbed and mutilated with a pair of scissors for not working hard enough (3).
I should also mention that although Saudia Arabia is the worst abuser, this employment warning applies to all Muslim countries; for example, on a typical day in Kuwait one can read a number of stories of domestic workers attempting to kill themselves to get away from unbearable abuse (4).
Let me also add that this abuse and barbaric treatment is leveled against fellow Muslims. I shudder to think how they would treat infidel domestic workers.
A tip of the turban to Israpundit for the link to the YouTube video.
"Some domestic workers find kind employers who treat them well, but others face intense exploitation and abuse, ranging from months of hard work without pay to physical violence to slavery-like conditions," said Nisha Varia from Human Rights Watch.
"The Saudi justice system is characterised by arbitrary arrests, unfair trials and harsh punishments," she said. "Migrants are at high risk of being victims of spurious charges. A domestic worker facing abuse or exploitation from her employer might run away and then be accused of theft. Employers may accuse domestic workers, especially those from Indonesia, of witchcraft. Victims of rape and sexual assault are at risk of being accused of adultery and fornication."
Ethiopian Review, 45 foreign women, including Ethiopians, face execution in Saudi Arabia
Foreign workers are being warned of the 'deadly risks' they face in Saudi Arabia, with more than 45 maids awaiting execution despite growing anger at the country's mistreatment of migrants.
Human rights campaigners say many of Saudi Arabia's 1.5 million migrant workers, around 375,000 of whom are Sri Lankan, are attracted to the country by the prospect of working for wealthy families but face exploitation and abuse.
This can range from months of hard work without pay to physical violence, in a country where legal protections are particularly weak, and access to lawyers, translators and embassies is often blocked.
Human Rights Watch's Nisha Varia told The Observer: 'The Saudi justice system is characterised by arbitrary arrests, unfair trials and harsh punishments. A domestic worker facing abuse or exploitation from her employer might run away and then be accused of theft.
'Employers may accuse domestic workers, especially those from Indonesia, of witchcraft. Victims of rape and sexual assault are at risk of being accused of adultery and fornication.'
BBC, 10 Jan 2011, Saudi woman jailed for abusing Indonesian maid Sumiati
Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, was admitted to hospital in November with broken bones and burns to her face and body.
The woman for whom she found work as a maid was arrested after allegedly beating Ms Sumiati so severely she had broken bones and internal bleeding. She was accused of putting a hot iron to Ms Sumiati's head and stabbing and mutilating her with scissors.
Christoph Wilcke, a senior Middle East researcher with Human Rights Watch, told the BBC this was the first jail sentence he had heard of in cases of abuse of migrant domestic workers, though there had been instances of pre-trial detention.
The Gulf blog, 25 Aug 2010, Saudi nails maid as punishment
Reports have emerged of a Sri Lanken maid in Saudi Arabia whose employers hammered 23 nails into her body as punishment for not doing enough work. Not too much else to say about that particular story, really.
Whilst this example is particularly extreme, the torture and abuse of maids and other domestic servants is a thoroughly endemic problem in many Gulf States. As I have said before, pick up a Kuwaiti newspaper are you are guaranteed to find examples of Maids running away from their employers brutality or clippings of maids having killed themselves.
When I returned to Kuwait in August 2009, the first newspaper I saw had three such stories. The first maid killed her self by jumping off a balcony. The second maid killed herself by swallowing bleach. The third maid attempted to kill herself by taking a massive drug overdose.