Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Humanity degraded - maid lives to tell ‘chilling’ stay in hell-hole

Kuwait City : A Filipina household helper who was allegedly severely beaten and then thrown out from a third floor window by her Arab employers survived to tell her harrowing tale.
25-year-old Christina (last name withheld on her request) said she underwent operation to correct her broken spine and leg at Al Razi hospital last July 20 where she was brought after the incident.
According to Christina, she ran away from her employers’ home due to physical maltreatment and being denied food, so she sought refuge at her agency’s office in Hawally which then reportedly called her employers who immediately came to fetch her.
Despite her protestations against going back, she said she was forcibly dragged by her employers with the help of an agency employee through a back entrance to avoid attracting attention, to their car and while inside, was continuously beaten and kicked.
“On our arrival at my employers’ home, I was kicked and punched all over my body and later taken to a room and told to stop crying or they will throw me out of the window. But because of the excruciating pain I felt from the beating, I couldn’t help crying, so they came back into the room, opened the window and dragged me towards it. I cried and begged them not to and clung to my employer’s legs but they kicked me repeatedly on my face until I was groggy and half conscious and then found myself falling and hitting the ground hard,” Christina sobbingly recalled her
ordeal.
She said she learned her employers she called for an ambulance which then took her to Al Razi Orthopedic hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for a broken spine and a broken leg.
A concerned compatriot, a nurse, at Al Razi hospital reportedly called the Philippine Embassy to alert them about her case and shortly thereafter, a representative from the embassy came to check on her.
She was discharged from the hospital three days ago and is now being looked after at the Filipino Workers Resource Center or FWRC of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office at the Philippine Embassy.
Screaming and crying in pain even at the slightest movement, she struggled to utter a few words asking H.E. Ambassador Ricardo M. Endaya to seek justice for her and make her employers and the agency answer in court for leaving her maimed, possibly for life.
According to knowledgeable sources, the employers are refusing to cooperate, ignoring summons from the Philippine Embassy to appear and shed light on the matter. Ambassador Endaya also has reportedly called the agency’s representative and the owner to explain their side in allegedly forcing the victim to return to her employers despite knowledge that she was being maltreated.
The Philippine Embassy has retained the services of top caliber Kuwaiti lawyers to handle Christina’s case.
Ambassador Endaya held an emergency meeting Sunday with embassy and POLO staff to discuss cases of abused workers and to remind them of their responsibility as diplomats whose main concern should be the protection of Filipino nationals
Meanwhile, another Filipina is reportedly recuperating at Al Razi hospital for injuries caused by a falling sofa thrown by persons unknown, from atop a building in Bneid Al Gar. She has reportedly been recently transferred to a ward from the Intensive Care Unit.
Investigations are going on to identify the person or persons responsible.
By Boie Conrad Dublin
Arab Times Staff

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