POST TIME: 15 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Torture of female workers in KSA
Govt takes steps over complaints
Says Foreign Minister Momen
Diplomatic Correspondent, Dhaka

Govt takes steps 
over complaints

Some Bangladeshi female workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are subjected to torture and oppression, but the government takes steps to redress these whenever the information is received, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said yesterday. In reply to a question over the alleged tortures of Bangladeshi female workers in Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said some women workers are being victimised and whenever such information of torture comes, Bangladesh government informs it to Saudi government to redress it.  “We have around six lakh women workers abroad. Of them, 2.70 lakh work in Saudi Arabia. So far, 53 deaths of female workers have been known. But we are yet to learn about the causes of the deaths. We have reports that those who mainly work as domestic help experience torture. The probability of torture is high while working as domestic help,” he added.

“We have special arrangement for the expatriates who experience tortures. We even take them back home with our own expenses,” the minister said.  

“In many cases the complaints of the women workers are not filed in Saudi Arabia. They file the complaints here in the country. The Saudi government is very strict and take action against the responsible persons if they get any complaint from the victims,” he added.

The minister also mentioned that it becomes very difficult for them to trace

most of the female victims in Saudi Arabia as they went there under the management of different agencies in the country. Many of these women don’t get any registration with the government when they go through these agencies, he observed.

“We are now talking about making the registration binding while sending workers, especially female workers. We don’t want anybody to face sufferings,” he added.

A number of organizations have recently held programmes, including human chains in the capital, demanding a ban on sending female workers to the kingdom. They claim that oppression on female Bangladeshi workers continues unabated in KSA with little done by the government to safeguard the workers’ interests.

215 more Bangladeshi workers deported from KSA

UNB adds: Two hundred and fifteen more Bangladeshi workers were deported from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night.

A Saudi Airlines flight (SV804) carrying 86 deportees landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:20pm while 129 in another Saudi Airlines flight (SV802) at 1:15am.

According to the expatriate welfare desk at the airport, a total of 1,561 workers were deported in the first two weeks of November. Around 21,000 Bangladeshis came back from Saudi Arabia this year alone.

Sohrab, one of the deportees, said he went to Saudi Arabia two years ago spending Tk 5 lakh and returned absolutely empty-handed. He was detained from the complaint room and sent back to Bangladesh. Another deportee, Harun, said he was caught while returning from his workplace and forced to come back. He had to spend Tk 6.5 lakh to go to Saudi Arabia.

Shahbul Islam, hailing from Tangail district, said he paid Tk 3,30,000 four months ago for a driving visa after being lured by a broker and recruiting agency called Messrs Javed Overseas. He was not given any salary either during his stay in Saudi Arabia and came back home penniless.

Many deported workers complained that they had paid the Kafeel (warrantors) to renew their legal permission (akama) but he failed to do so. Shariful Hasan expressed his disappointment at the fact that the Kafeeldid not accept any responsibility after the workers were arrested.