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Tortured migrant workers in KSA seek PM Hasina's help

  • Published at 02:05 am August 29th, 2018
KSA Workers Female
File Photo: A female worker, who returned from Saudi Arabia along with 25 others on Tuesday, talks to reporters at Dhaka airport after their arrival Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The female Bangladeshi migrant workers, currently in Riaydh, sought the prime minister’s help in a video message

Some 50 Bangladeshi female migrant workers, currently trapped in the Saudi Arabian capital, have sent a video message seeking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s help for their safe return home.

The video message was sent to Brac’s migration program on Monday.

In the video message, a number of Bangladeshi women, who are currently confined inMahara Human Resource Company in Riyadh,are seen with their faces covered, crying and asking for help to return home.

“We request Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to bring us back to Bangladesh with our dignity intact,” said one of the women, breaking down in tears.

“Sheikh Hasina, please save us from danger… we are facing death risks here,” she pleaded. 

They alleged that to escape their abusive Saudi employers, they had taken shelter in the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh, but instead of sending them back home, the embassy handed them over to the human resource company.

Describing her horrific experience in Saudi Arabia, one of the women said: “Do you know what happens when nails are inserted into the legs of a physically fit person? What happens when a person in good health is given electric shock? How it feels when one is forced to eat pepper?”

Around 5,000 Bangladeshi women who workedas domestic help in Saudi Arabia have returned home in the last three years, unable to endure tortureby their employers. 

Of them, over 1,000 women have returned this year alone, according to Brac.

In an event organized by Brac in July, noted researcher and women’s rights activist Maleka Begum said 735,575 Bangladeshi women are employed in different countries, mostly in the Middle East region. Of them, 234, 831 women went to Saudi Arabia following a bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia in 2015.  

Brac submitted a written application to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment on Monday, asking forthe safe return of the women from Riyadh.

Brac’s Migration OperationschiefShariful Islam said: “Some 37 female workers in Saudi Arabia informed us that some 50 Bangladeshi women are currently in Riyadh, waiting to come back home. They alleged that they have been physically and mentally tortured, not given their salaries as per the employment agreement, not given food, and forced to overwork.

“When they went for help to the embassy, instead of sending them back, the embassy sent them to MaharaHuman Resource Company,”Shariful said. “Hearing their plea and receiving the information, we have written to the government to bring them back.”