Kuwaiti woman jailed for filming domestic worker's escape attempt

Published On: October 3, 2018 11:30 AM NPT By: Agencies

KUWAIT, Oct 3: A woman who was caught filming her housemaid falling from a seventh-floor balcony as she tried to flee her apartment in Kuwait, has been jailed.

Disturbing footage shows the Ethiopian maid screaming and crying for help as she hangs by one hand from a window frame before losing grip and plunging down on to a metal awning below.

She was shouting "hold me, hold me" to the woman filming, who later posted the footage on social media.

Incredibly, she survived the fall, walking away with just a broken arm and other minor injuries.

However, the woman holding the camera, who can be heard saying "Oh crazy, come back", has now been jailed for a year and eight months for filming her domestic helper's escape attempt.

In March last year, when the video went viral, she was charged with "filming an individual without consent and publishing a video of an individual without consent."

According to Stepfeed, during her trial, the accused said she chose to film the incident because she wanted to use it as proof of the fact that she didn't hurt the domestic worker.

The 12-second video sparked massive outrage on Arab social media, prompting authorities to take action against the worker's employer, the publication reported.

In Kuwait, there are around 600,000 domestic workers, mainly migrants to the oil rich gulf states, the independent reported.

Complaints of abuse are commonplace and the country's kafala system of visa sponsorship prevents domestic workers from changing jobs without the permission of their employer.

According to Stepfeed, millions of domestic workers across the Arab world are deprived of their most basic rights, given that they're governed by the kafala (sponsorship) system.

HRW says the kafala system "remains a major obstacle to domestic workers' rights" despite some progress having been made in 2015 to protect them.

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