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Saudi nails maid as punishment 25, August 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia.
Tags: , , , , ,

Reports have emerged of a Sri Lanken maid in Saudi Arabia whose employers hammered 23 nails into her body as punishment for not doing enough work. Not too much else to say about that particular story, really.

Whilst this example is particularly extreme, the torture and abuse of maids and other domestic servants is a thoroughly endemic problem in many Gulf States. As I have said before, pick up a Kuwaiti newspaper are you are guaranteed to find examples of Maids running away from their employers brutality or clippings of maids having killed themselves.

When I returned to Kuwait in August 2009, the first newspaper I saw had three such stories. The first maid killed her self by jumping off a balcony. The second maid killed herself by swallowing bleach. The third maid attempted to kill herself by taking a massive drug overdose.

I think it’s worth repeating: these stories are daily occurrences in Kuwait and, I suspect, Saudi Arabia.

Just try to imagine for a second just how atrocious her life must have been where swallowing bleach seemed to be the better option.


1. Victoria - 25, August 2010

can you put the link to the article from Saudi Arabia please? I am very interested in seeing it

davidbroberts - 25, August 2010

Oops…here it is.

Hope you’re well.

2. Vikram - 25, August 2010

Saudi barbarians have done it again. There have been thousands
of torture cases involving sri lankan maids alone (This writer is from Sri lanka). Sometimes it is the body of the maid that comes back in a coffin. When would these barbarians be brought to justice?

3. Paul Vincent - 25, August 2010

I know the abuse was common enough in the UAE as well when I lived there until 4 years ago. No idea how it is now, though I doubt it has changed much.

4. xoussef - 26, August 2010

If I understood well the woman was sent home and that’s it, the bastard is free to contract someone else to abuse, may be drill holes next time?

“we will summon the sponsor to discuss this issue” right, around a convivial cup of coffee ad send him home in a taxi too.

5. Anastasia Hobbet - 26, August 2010

David, Human Rights Watch is releasing a special report on domestic worker abuse in Kuwait in early October, and The New York Times just ran a major piece on the same topic–the link is below. My second novel, Small Kingdoms, set in Kuwait and published in January in the US, has maid abuse at its heart, so I’m tuned into the issue. maybe some momentum is building, although Sheikha Bibi al-Sabah has been working for years to shift public complacency, to little avail. I saw little coverage of the NYT feature in Kuwait itself, tho the specific cases of abuse it covers made international news. It’ll be interesting to see if the press and the government can ignore the Human Rights Watch report.

the New York Times piece:

davidbroberts - 26, August 2010

Thanks for your thoughts. It’s such a grim topic. It really makes studying and living in the Gulf difficult. Only this morning I read of 3 Emiratis who remorselessly beat a pregnant woman and her husband for ‘sitting where they wanted to sit’ in an Ikea canteen/restaurant. It just seemingly never ends.

6. Anton Diaz - 28, August 2010

There is no law in the gulf. It is a region of
blood thirsty pigs. Its time the world has realized this simple fact. Thier sharia law has two sides.
One for the high and mighty (i.e rich pigs) and
one for the others.

davidbroberts - 28, August 2010


7. Sharmila - 31, August 2010

were is god in that time???????????

8. Lakshman - 1, September 2010

The followng news shows how biased the Saudies are to the plight of this poor woman. Do they try to prove that she nailed her self ? And did not come through the airport but landed in the plane seat in mid air ?. Why it was not dicteded in theSaudi Airport clearly shows their lack of security. It is not her fault.

News Item – Saudi suspicious (31.08.2010 18:55 SLT – Daily Mirror Online, SL)

The Saudi embassy issuing a communiqué said they have suspicions regarding the housemaid who had been inserted with 24 nails by her Saudi employer saying she cannot pass check points without being detected. The statement said that there are many doubts regarding this allegation, saying the housemaid cannot pass security check points and sophisticated machines in the airports of Riyadh and Katunayake with the nails in her body. It also said that the Saudi Ambassador is giving personal attention to this matter and is continuing communication with the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs in Sri Lanka. L. T. Ariywathie underwent a three hour surgery to get the nails removed last Friday and she is now recovering.

9. xoussef - 22, September 2010

I’m sure with the right amount of diplomatic$, the woman will end declaring (or be declared) having done all that to herself just for fun.


10. Gulf states still fail to protect Sri Lankan maids « The Gilded Cage - 16, November 2010

[…] this is an area which is constantly neglected, to the extent where they are referred to as “daily occurances” in the UAE. These women are reporting being forced to “swallow nails” when asking to be paid (after […]

11. bernieg1 - 15, February 2013

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