Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ethiopian maid jumped from the second floor of a flat

Source: Gulf Daily News
By: Begena George 

An Ethiopian woman is recovering in a hospital after she jumped from the second floor of a building in an attempt to escape alleged physical abuse by a manpower agency. Serawit Gebre Medhen, 29, is being treated for head and leg injuries at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC). She has worked in Bahrain for over a year as a housemaid, but had asked the Maliki Manpower Agency in Isa Town to be sent back to her country, saying that dust and heavy work were bad for her health.

"I first worked with an Iraqi family but they did not treat me well, so I told my agency, which sent me to work with a Bahraini family," said Ms Medhen.

"They were very good to me and treated me well - gave me the same good food that they ate. "But the house had too many dusty carpets and I am allergic to it so I requested to be sent back to my country as my health had failed me and I knew I wouldn't be any good to them. "My 'madam' took me to the agency and the manager got very angry with me when he heard my request and slapped me right across my face.

"This came as a shock to me but my madam too did not protest, maybe because she was scared. "When I tried to explain myself, he ordered me to shut my mouth and if I didn't he would burn my face with a lit cigarette that he was holding." She also claims that a female staff member at the agency hit her many times, once with a hardbound book on her head. "My madam went home and I was asked to stay the night at the office at Jid Ali, where I was locked in.

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*Note the abovementioned excerpts are direct quotes from the article and thus all credit and references should be afforded to the authors/sources.

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