SAUDI ARABIA: MORE THAN 45 FOREIGN MAIDS ON DEATH ROW
January 13, 2013: More than 45 foreign maids are on death row in Saudi Arabia, amid growing global outrage over the treatment of migrant workers, UK's The Observer newspaper reported.
The startling figure, based on estimates from human rights agencies, was revealed after the kingdom beheaded a 24-year-old Sri Lankan maid, Rizana Nafeek, for killing a child left in her care in 2005.
Indonesians are believed to account for the majority of those facing a death sentence. Human rights groups said 45 Indonesian women are on death row, and five have exhausted the legal process, The Observer reported.
There are also Sri Lankan, Filipina, Indian, and Ethiopian maids facing the death penalty, The Observer reported, citing rights groups.
There are about 1.5 million foreign maids in Saudi Arabia, including about 375,000 Sri Lankans.
"Some domestic workers find kind employers who treat them well, but others face intense exploitation and abuse, ranging from months of hard work without pay to physical violence to slavery-like conditions," The Observer quoted Nisha Varia from Human Rights Watch as saying. (Sources: Reuters, 13/01/2013)