In today's 'seriously WTF people' news, a woman working in Saudi Arabia was allegedly maimed by her employer - but can't get her passport back
On the count of three, it’s time to bang your head on the table and exclaim about the state of women’s rights in Saudia Arabia. Because a young woman working in the Middle Eastern country has apparently had her hand cut off by her employer – and if that wasn’t stomach-churningly inhumane enough, she’s had her passport confiscated too, and isn’t being allowed to return home to her parents in India.
Munirathinam Kasthuri is from Tamil Nadu, in southern India. According to the Hindustan Times, she had been working as a maid in Saudi Arabia for a while before she complained to her employer about her working conditions. And instead of taking her concerns into account, sitting her down in a nice glass-walled office and potentially referring her to HR, he appears to have decided to maim her, instead.
But while Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj says India is ‘very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which an Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia,’ and has lodged a formal investigation into the attack on Munirathinam, it gets worse.
Because in Saudi Arabia, employers have to approve a foreign person’s right to leave the country – often taking their passport when they start working for them – and in Munirathinam’s case, her boss is refusing to let her go. Instead, he claims she lose her hand by ‘jumping’ off a roof. (Which really should raise the question of what she was jumping to escape from.)
In fact, instead of letting her leave, the HT reports that Munirathinam’s employer will only let her leave if India drops its charges of assault against him. Meaning that there’s the potential that he wouldn’t be punished for his crime at all.