An Indian housemaid had her hand hacked off allegedly by her female employer in Saudi Arabia and has complained she has been tortured whilst working in Riyadh.
Kasturi Munirathinam, originally from the south Indian city of Chennai, had been earning £150 a month while working as a cleaner for a household in the Saudi capital.
Since she started working in Riyadh, she said she had been tortured and deliberately deprived of food by her employers.
Her family said that when Ms Munirathinam tried to escape, her employer decided to punish her and cut off her hand.
‘When she tried to escape harassment and torture, her right hand was chopped off by the woman employer. She fell down and sustained serious spinal injuries,’ her sister, S Vijayakumari, told the Press Trust of India.
‘The incident happened after… she complained about torture and non-payment of wages by her employer.’ she said.
Ms Munirathinam was taken to hospital in Riyadh and her condition has now reportedly stabilized.
A video has emerged on social media, allegedly showing the moments after Ms Munirathinam was attacked.
Since she started working for Riyadh, Kasturi Munirathinam alleged she had been tortured and deliberately deprived of food by her employers
Ms Munirathinam was taken to hospital in Riyadh and her condition has now reportedly stabilised
‘I pleaded with the lady not to harm me but she kicked me, punched me and cut off my arm. I want to go back home. Please help me,’ she says in the video according to the Times of India.
‘Kasturi’s employer was angered after she apprised local officials about the harassment she was facing there, she was not even provided food,’ her sister S Vijayakumari told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister for internal affairs, tweeted about the woman’s plight in Saudi Arabia.
‘Chopping of hand of Indian lady – We are very much disturbed over the brutal manner in which Indian lady has been treated in Saudi Arabia,’ she wrote.
It is thought Ms Munirathinam sought work in Saudi Arabia to help earn money for her husband and four children in India.
Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup has spoken out against the attack on the Indian woman, telling the Indian Express that India had launched an investigation into the attack and will ‘continue to seek justice for the victim’.
‘Our embassy in Riyadh has taken up the matter with the Saudi Foreign Office and asked for strict action in the matter and severe punishment for the sponsor,’ he said.
He said a case of attempted murder should be lodged against the sponsor ‘so that he is punished, if found guilty as per law.’
Conservative Princeton University professor and vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Robert P. George, along with six other advocates, have offered to take 100 lashes each for Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.
Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes got his first 50 lashes by cane in a public square just over a week ago. A news release from Amnesty International explained that a second round of flogging for the blogger was postponed last Friday because his wounds from the first flogging hadn’t healed.
“Not only does this postponement on health grounds expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity. The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous. Flogging should not be carried out under any circumstances,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa Program in the release.
In an email to The Christian Post Wednesday, Professor George confirmed that he and other advocates have offered to take the lashes for Badawi.
“Together with six colleagues on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I sent a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. calling on the Saudi government to stop the horrific torture of Raif Badawi — an advocate of religious freedom and freedom of expression in the Saudi Kingdom,” wrote George.
“If the Saudi government refuses, we each asked to take 100 of Mr. Badawi’s lashes so that we could suffer with him. The seven of us include Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Christians, Jews, and a Muslim,” he added.
Offering to take Badawi’s lashes along with George are: Mary Ann Glendon, member of the Board, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; M. Zuhdi Jasser, president, American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Daniel Mark assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Villanova University; Hannah Rosenthal, CEO, Milwaukee Jewish Federation; Eric Schwartz, dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and Katrina Lantos Swett, president of Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice.
“Compassion, a virtue honored in Islam as well as in Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths, is defined as ‘suffering with another.’ We are persons of different faiths, yet we are united in a sense of obligation to condemn and resist injustice and to suffer with its victims, if need be. We therefore make the following request. If your government will not remit the punishment of Raif Badawi, we respectfully ask that you permit each of us to take 100 of the lashes that would be given to him. We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured. If your government does not see fit to stop this from happening, we are prepared to present ourselves to receive our share of Mr. Badawi’s unjust punishment,” note the group in the letter shared with CP.
According to Amnesty International’s Boumedouha: “Flogging is prohibited under international law along with other forms of corporal punishment. His flogging appears to have been postponed for now but there is no way of knowing whether Saudi Arabia’s authorities will fully comply with the doctor’s advice. Raif Badawi is still at immediate risk.”
Raif Badawi’s daughter writes her father a heartbreaking letter days before he’s likely scheduled to be publicly flogged again for “insulting” Islam and defending the right to free speech. If you’re against torture and believe in free speech, please share Raif Badawi’s story with your family and friends and encourage them to share with their family and friends and so on and so on. Together, we can win Raif’s freedom. #FreeRaif
A Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam was brought after Friday prayers to a public square in the port city of Jiddah and flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators, a witness to the lashing said.
The witness said Raif Badawi’s feet and hands were shackled during the flogging but his face was visible. He remained silent and did not cry out, said the witness, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity fearing government reprisal.
Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He had criticized Saudi Arabia’s powerful clerics on a liberal blog he founded. The blog has since been shut down. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals or about $266,600.
Rights activists say Saudi authorities are using Badawi’s case as a warning to others who think to criticize the kingdom’s powerful religious establishment from which the ruling family partly derives its authority.
London-based Amnesty International said he would receive 50 lashes once a week for 20 weeks. Saudi Arabia’s close ally, the United States, had called on authorities to cancel the punishment.
Despite international pleas for his release, Badawi, a father of three, was brought from prison by bus to the public square on Friday and flogged on the back in front of a crowd that had just finished midday prayers at a nearby mosque. His face was visible and, throughout the flogging, he clenched his eyes and remained silent, said the witness.
The witness, who also has close knowledge of the case, said the lashing lasted about 15 minutes.
Badawi has been held since mid-2012 after he founded the Free Saudi Liberals blog. He used the blog to criticize the kingdom’s influential clerics who follow a strict and ultraconservative interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism, which originated in Saudi Arabia.
He was originally sentenced in 2013 to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in relation to the charges, but after an appeal, the judge stiffened the punishment. Following his arrest, his wife and children left the kingdom for Canada.
Rights groups argue that the case against Badawi is part of a wider crackdown on freedom of speech and dissent in Saudi Arabia since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Criticism of clerics is seen as a red line because of their prestige in the kingdom, as well as their influential role in supporting government policies.
According to Amnesty, the charges against Badawi mention his failure to remove articles by other people on his website. He was also accused in court of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s morality police.
In a statement after the flogging, Amnesty called the flogging a “vicious act of cruelty” and said that Badawi’s “only ‘crime’ was to exercise his right to freedom of expression by setting up a website for public discussion.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has called the punishment an “inhumane” response to someone exercising his right to freedom of expression and religion.
In New York, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, told reporters on Friday that the U.N. human rights office was “very concerned about the flogging” and that it has previously raised concerns about harsh sentences in Saudi Arabia for human rights defenders.
ISIS Trafficking Human Organs From Bodies of Kidnapped Captives, Dead Soldiers and Injured Prisoners, Mosul Doctor Says
A Kurdish protester of the Yazidis ethnic minority holds a placard against Islamic State (IS) militants during a demonstration in Frankfurt August 9, 2014. Some 2,000 ethnic Kurds of the Yazidis sect, who practice an ancient faith related to Zoroastrianism, protested in the western German city on Saturday against IS militants, who are surging across northern Iraq near the Kurdistan borders in their drive to eradicate unbelievers such as Christians and Yazidis.
As the Islamic State has risen to become a yearly $2 billion terrorist outfit, it has found various methods to reel in its revenue such as oil production, human trafficking, and drug smuggling. However, it has been revealed that there is yet another lucrative source for ISIS funding: trafficking human organs.
According to a recent Al Monitor report addressing the various revenue sources of the Islamic State, a doctor from Mosul named Siruwan al-Mosuli is claiming that ISIS hired foreign doctors to run an extensive organ trafficking system that has the potential to generate great profits.
Mosuli, who is an ear, nose and throat doctor by trade, said he noticed something fishy when ISIS leaders hired new Arab and foreign doctors to work in their hospitals in Mosul and did not allow the foreign doctors to interact with the local doctors. Mosuli said that soon after, information was leaked to him about organ selling.
According to Mosuli, the Islamic State takes organs from a variety of sources. He said the organs mostly come from dead militants, whose bodies are quickly transported to the hospital. However, Mosuli said that ISIS also takes organs from individuals they kidnap (religious minorities like Christians and Yazidis). According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), ISIS also sells the bodies and organs of the injured individuals under ISIS arrest.
The Islamic State’s organ trafficking system would not be successful without the aid of external expert organ transporters, or as the report calls them “networks specialized in trafficking human organs.” Mosuli further added that the network is a “specialized mafia” dedicated to organ smuggling and nothing else.
Although Mosuli said that organ selling can yield outstanding profit, it absolutely requires coordination between all parties involved, including the cooperation of hospitals and other medical institutions in other countries, because the organs must be transported and implanted in a timely manner. He added that without such coordination, the success of the trade could not be maintained.
As the Assyrian International News Agency points out, it is suspected that most of the organs smuggled out of Syria and Iraq by ISIS are usually being shipped to neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia or Turkey.
Although ISIS’ biggest revenue gainer is their selling of over $1 million per day in crude oil, which they produce from oil refineries captured in besieged towns, another massive ISIS revenue producer is their human trafficking ring, which the OHCHR estimates has led to over 25,000 religious minority women and children being either imprisoned or sexually assaulted.
But another less-publicized revenue source is ISIS’ drug smuggling ring. Al Monitor report finds that ISIS trafficks Afghan heroin into Europe from the city of Nineveh, which the Russian Federal Drug Control Service says is generating “significant revenues.” The service added that ISIS supplies half of Europe’s total heroin consumption.
“The large-scale movement of Afghan heroin acts as an ongoing financial base aiding the functioning of the Islamic State, which secures huge profits by providing half of the total heroin supplied to Europe via destabilized Iraq and some African heroin, which is sent from Iraq to Europe,” the Russian Federal Drug Control Service issued in a statement.
ISIS also makes money from smuggling families and individuals into other countries. The report highlights one instance when a family paid ISIS over $8,000 per individual to sneak them into Turkey.