Friday, October 19, 2012

Emulating the Emirates

Now Lebanon

Here’s another date to look forward to in November besides the US presidential elections on the 6th: On November 12 is the verdict in the trial of a monstrous Emirati woman who is appealing a 13-year sentence for sexually assaulting and then beating to death her Indonesian maid.

The woman first claimed innocence in the killing, but then when it became abundantly clear that she murdered her maid with her own hands, she claimed insanity. After having been proved sane, she’s now appealing the verdict, claiming it was the police who killed the lady.

As sad as it sounds, I’m pleasantly surprised that there was a trial at all. Here in Lebanon, according to a Human Rights Watch report, a “lack of accessible complaint mechanisms, lengthy judicial procedures, and restrictive visa policies dissuade many workers from filing or pursuing complaints against their employers. Even when workers file complaints, the police and judicial authorities regularly fail to treat certain abuses against domestic workers as crimes.”

There are even examples of maids complaining about their employers and then ending up in jail themselves.

As much as it hurts to say, putting abusive employers on trial is one of the ways in which Lebanon could gain from emulating the Emirates.

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