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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Saudi maid gets arrested after being beaten by employers

This would make a great episode of Saudi Vice, but in this case it appears to be the regular Saudi police, not the Muttawa:
One of the Indonesian maids allegedly beaten up by her employers two weeks ago was taken into custody on Monday from hospital where she was being treated for her injuries.

The Indonesian Embassy was not informed beforehand of the transfer nor has it been allowed official access to the woman or her fellow maid, who was also beaten up by the employers and is still in hospital.

“Tari Tarsim, 27, has been taken away by police to an unknown destination, while Ruminih Surtim, 25, is still in the hospital recovering from her injuries,” Sukamto Javaladi, labor counselor at the Indonesian Embassy, told Arab News yesterday.

A vicious attack two weeks ago on four maids working for the same employers in Aflaj in the Riyadh region resulted in the death of Siti Tarwiyah Slamet, 32, and Susmiyati Abdul Fulan, 28. Tari and Ruminih were left severely injured in the incident. Seven members of the family that the maids were working for are also being held.

The Indonesian Embassy has not yet been officially notified of the incident and only found out about it through Indonesian nationals in Aflaj.

Tarsim and Surtim were admitted into intensive care at Aflaj General Hospital and then were transferred last week to the Riyadh Medical Complex where they have been placed under 24-hour police guard.

Tari was transferred to police custody yesterday (Monday) but we don’t know why,” said Adi Dzul Fuat, vice consul at the Indonesian Embassy. “The policewoman guarding their room at the hospital told us that Tari has been transferred to jail,” he said.
So the employers beat up four maids, killing two and sending the other two to the hospital. What possible reason could they be arrested for?

Tarsim spoke to Arab News about the attack when she was at Aflaj Hospital. She said that the 17-year-old son of her employer whipped her with his igal accusing her of practicing witchcraft.

...
Speaking about accusations that the maids practiced witchcraft, which is a legal offense, Al-Dandani said, “The maids are denying this completely. And regardless of whether it is true or not, the accusations do not give employers the right to beat them and kill them.”
Ah, witchcraft. It all makes sense now.