Saturday, May 09, 2009

Penalty for Rape? Execution. Drugs, Too.

A Nigerian man was beheaded yesterday "after being found guilty of twice sexually assaulting an elderly woman in her home... the court found that on both occasions the accused had been under the influence of hashish and illegal pills." As I have pointed out in numerous posts during the past several years, only when the accused are locals is the nationality not reported. There is no guessing who it is that is committing crimes. Here's the thing. "The ministry said that this announcement [of the Nigerian having been executed yesterday] is to assure everybody that the government... is keen to maintain security and stability of the Kingdom." By virtue of that statement, an announcement that if you commit the crime of rape that you will be executed, does that mean that the six Saudis who abducted and then raped a Filipina woman a week or two ago are going to face this same punishment? That remains to be seen.

The same goes for drugs. Right? If you get caught with drugs the punishment is severe. Supposedly, if you get caught selling drugs then you will be executed. So what happened with the six or eight or twenty Saudi men who were caught at the airport, about to board a plane, with a load of hashish? The rumors of that drug bust went around like a wild fire out of control and there was not a mention - not a single word - about the drug bust in any news that I read. From what I have heard - from a few men who were at the airport that day - a couple of the men had more than just a little bit of the stuff "for personal use." They were carrying several kilograms each. One of DH's co-workers, who happens to be a Saudi, told DH exactly what was going to happen to them with a mere hand gesture: Off with their heads. Why is it that the story wasn't reported? When anyone else gets caught with drugs it is reported - along with their nationality. But the arrest of six or eight or twenty Saudi men trying to board a plane with drugs is kept quiet.

Another group of unpaid workers. The many employers who don't pay their laborers should be proud. They've got quite the scam going. "Come work for me. I will be paid for the work that you do, but you will not be paid for the work that you do." That is how it works. The laborers have virtually no recourse. Twenty-five workers claim they have not been paid for eight months; more than a handful of them are claiming that their employer has also canceled their medical insurance. The men have sought advice from a lawyer - who, they, no doubt will be required to pay - to find out "that the law requires their outstanding salaries to be paid." No shit, Dick Tracy! How many years of law school... "The Minister of Labor two years ago gave workers the right to report employers to labor offices should then not receive payment of salaries for a period of three months." The law sounds like a good one, but in actuality, it is, basically, worth less than the paper it has been written on. Lots and lots of workers have to "fight" to get paid, here. It isn't a secret. I can tell you stories of drivers who tell me that they have not been paid in months. Happens all the time. Good grief I hope these workers haven't already paid the lawyer who said, "...the 25 unpaid workers should take their case up with their regional labor office with a view to prosecuting their employer." Oh, pluheeze. When has an employer EVER been found guilty, here? Never? "If the labor office fails to resolve the case, then they should take it up with the governate." Outstanding legal work. What fabulous advice. "An official from the company that employs the 25 men said they only had two months' salary outstanding, a claim denied by employees." Employees, whoever you are, you are screwed and there is nothing you will be able to do about it. Chalk it up to life experience. You left your third-world country with hopes and dreams of coming to this one and being paid to work and where did it get you? You have no rights here, and the employer has them all. Tell all your friends NOT to work for the company you ended up working for. Word of mouth might make finding laborers for whoever your employer is close to impossible and perhaps he'll go out of business. Doubtful. But worth a try isn't it?

More on workers... Another maid. Just another maid. She's been abandoned "without an Iqama (residence permit) or even the necessary travel document, the passport." Her sponsor cannot be traced. Big surprise. Since the woman "carries no identification papers and her sponsor cannot be traced, the authorities have informed the concerned embassies and are waiting to confirm her nationality." The maid sits at a Rescue Center, in limbo. Something about her name being changed, by the recruiting agent who sent her here from "Kamaleswari" to "Rajani" has created quite an obstacle for this woman who wants to go back to her husband and two children in India. Yeah. Good luck. "In September 2006, Kamaleswari received an offer to work as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia. Because of the Indian government's restriction that Indian women below the age of 40 cannot go abroad to work as maids, a family friend [some friend!] advised Kamaleswari to go to Saudi Arabia via Sri Lanka." Probably not the best decision that Kamaleswari could have made. No matter. Hind-sight is always twenty-twenty. "Since she is illiterate, she could not read her passport details, and does not know whether the passport was Indian or Sri Lankan." Ut oh. "Under the Saudi sponsorship system, foreign workers upon arrival in the Kingdom must deposit their passports with the concerned sponsor/employer." Imagine - just imagine - for just one second if Saudi's traveling to other parts of the world were forced to give up their passports. Oh my gosh. The outrage it would spark. "Another unfortunate part in Kamaleswari's life in Saudi Arabia was that she has not been paid for the work she has done." No?! Shocker! "She worked with one sponsor for 12 months and was only paid for three, notwithstanding the fact that she was recruited at the meager monthly wage of SR500." [$134.04 a month; $1,608.48 a year. That's $30.93 per week and if she was lucky she ONLY worked 40 hours - so that's .77 an hour - slave wages.] "After one year of work with one sponsor, Kamaleswari was handed over to another manpower provider agency in Riyadh where she worked for 18 months." No information as to whether or not she was paid for that time is reported. Anyone care to guess? The poor [literally] woman just wants to go back home to her husband and children. "When her sponsor abandoned her at the rescue center, she had no idea of the magnitude of the problem she was going to face." No. I bet she didn't. Interesting final statement: "Foreign workers employed under the domestic helpers category are usually deprived of labor rights that govern foreign workers in Saudi Arabia." Umm. What labor rights? See above.

On a lighter note... A "Girls' school becomes baboon's playground." Surely there is a joke there, somewhere, but I'm not touching it...


  1. Selective amnesia is always at work when it comes to reporting about certain 'nationalities' and their association with crime....slip of the editor's tongue you see....Hypocrisy at its best. Most of the Asian countries are incapable of fighting for its citizen's rights when they are discriminated upon. They always resort to 'tokenism'. Sad but true...

  2. Of course the PVPV was there to 'oversee' proceedings of removing a baboon. It was a GIRLS school. It must have been a male baboon.
    RE: the unpaid workers. These unfortunate folks live in fear of getting arrested and deported. My solution is to publish the names of these employers in every paper in Saudi AND in the countries these workers are from.
    I'm also all for treating Saudi travelers to other countries the way Saudis treat visitors to the Sandbox. Taste of their own medicine MIGHT knock them off the high horse. I doubt it, but I can still hope.

  3. Sabra, from the article;

    "The court found that on both occasions the accused had been under the influence of hashish and illegal pills, the ministry said in a statement."

    I'm no saint. BUT, I gave my husband one of my percoset 7.5 (that I'm prescribed for my back) for a toothache.

    Since it is illegal for Nick to consume my legal meds, I can assure you he was in NO way able to commit rape. In fact I believe I was able to get to sign the house and Z28 over to me.


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