Saudi employer denied bail over Bangladeshi worker’s death
The domestic help’s family said they do not want an arbitration
A Saudi Arabia court Wednesday again denied bail to three Saudi nationals, who are accused in Bangladeshi domestic help Abiron Begum murder case.
"The court sought written explanations from the accused Wednesday, and set 20 January for the next hearing," said Brac's Migration Department Programme Head Shariful Hasan quoting the family members of the deceased.
"Abiron's family said they do not want an arbitration, rather they want kisas [retributive justice]. They want no more Bangladeshi domestic help to die like Abiron in the west Asian country," Shariful added.
Hailing from Khulna, Abiron Begum went to Saudi Arabia in 2017 to work as a housemaid. After more than two years, her body returned home. Her death certificate, which was with the coffin, stated "murder" in the section of "cause of death".
With the power of attorney on behalf of Abiron's family, first secretary of Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh Shafiqul Islam and translator Suhel Ahmed turned up in the first hearing of the case on 16 December last year.
On that day, the court denied bail to Abiron's employer Bassem Salem, his wife Ayesha Al Jizani and the couple's son Walid Bassem Salem.
Abiron's family alleges that eight men lived in the house where Abiron worked. They used to torture and sexually abuse the Bangladeshi migrant worker.
In the meantime, an inquiry report by the Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission said the 40-year-old domestic help was tortured to death. Before arriving home, the body was in a morgue in Saudi Arabia for seven months.
The report detailed the role of public officials at various levels and the middleman who sent Abiron abroad, and recommended exemplary punishments.
Subsequently, a case was filed in Bangladesh under human trafficking prevention act accusing the middleman Rabiul. Currently, Khulna Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police is investigating the case.
Nearly 500 bodies of female migrants arrived in the country in the last five years. Of them, 200 female Bangladeshi workers who went Saudi Arabia as domestic workers returned home dead.
The Human Rights Commission recommended eight points in the Abiron murder case and eight more for the protection of women workers abroad. However, most of the recommendations are yet to be implemented.