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Another underaged Lankan girl suffers in Saudi hell
Agency claims families have to accept the negative consequences of going abroad in search of employment including cruelty from employers
By Isuri Kaviratne
A twenty-year-old Sri Lankan housemaid who faked her age to travel to Saudi Arabia is pleading with her family to rescue her, claiming she was allegedly tortured and starved. Fathima Rasiyah Farook who was 19 at that time she left for Saudi (below the age permitted to travel overseas for employment), had used forged documents to obtain a passport.
Rasiyah now 21 is reported to have ended up with wrong employers and has allegedly been tortured and starved. A relative of Rasiyah now a twenty-one-year-old, said the girl had left for Saudi Arabia in 2005 when she was 19 after faking her age. Her elder sister?s husband who is a subagent at a job agency and apparently helped secure false papers which enabled the girl to make the trip is refusing to take any responsibility for the plight Rasiyah now finds herself in. He has allegedly threatened his wife not to get involved in efforts to bring her sister back.
Concerned over her situation, a member of Rasiyah?s family told The Sunday Times that they had been going from pillar to post in an effort to bring the girl back. Her mother and father are both said to be unable to take any concrete action including voicing concern over their daughter?s plight as the shock on hearing their daughter?s plight had incapacitated them. Today they are bedridden and unable to even speak properly.
According to information the family had received, Rasiyah?s original employer had treated her well. However when the family had left for Mecca she had been taken over by another set of employers. These people had apparently taken away her money (paid by the previous employer) and subjected her to inhuman treatment including burning her with a heated iron, beating her up and keeping her locked in a room while the family was not around. At all other times she is expected to work.
She has been able to contact her family via mobile phone she had purchased while she was with her former employer. The family claims that when she contacted them on Friday morning she was not able to speak clearly as she had been subjected to a severe physical attack. The Foreign Employment Bureau has informed Rasiyah?s family that they have done everything possible including contacting Saudi Embassy who had asked them to provide the address of Rasiyah?s employer.
Unfortunately Rasiyah?s family is unable to provide any information in this regard other than the fact that the area is referred to as ?Tabbuk? and situated in a sandy area where even taxis do not operate, making it impossible for her to escape.
Rasiyah?s family claims that they were deceived by persons whom they believed to belong to the job agency which sent her abroad. He added that the agency known to the family now claim they could not bring her back until her contract expired irrespective of whether she underwent torture or not.
Families have to accept the negative consequences of going abroad in search of employment including cruelty from employers the agency claimed. Rasiyah?s family claim they have not had a positive reply to their plea to bring the girl back to Sri Lanka alive. They claim she is suffering and has been reduced to a situation of partial blindness brought about due to the suffering she has undergone.
Edited By - ThinKing - 19 Aug 2007 12:04:05 GMT