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A woman’s harrowing account of torture in Saudi Arabia

  • Published at 05:00 pm May 25th, 2018
  • Last updated at 06:36 pm May 25th, 2018
Majeda Begum of Sakhipur upazila in Tangail, who returned home on May 24 from Saudi Arabia after failing to bear inhumane torture by a trafficking syndicate Abdullah Al Numan/Dhaka Tribune

The victim urged the authorities concerned to protect and take back those women who are still facing brutal torture in the Middle Eastern country

She went to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic help in the hope that she would be able to change her fortune and put smiles on the faces of her children.

But in a twist of fate, Majeda Begum of Sakhipur upazila in Tangail had to return home within a month, having failed to bear brutal torture by a trafficking syndicate. 

Upon returning to Bangladesh on Thursday, she is now staying at the house of her sister at Halidiachala in the upazila, fearing further torture from local agents of the syndicate.

“I had been in captivity ever since I landed in Riyadh. Confining me to a dark room, they carried out brutal torture on me all day long,” she spoke of her traffickers.

The wife of a day laborer, Majeda went to Saudi Arabia with the help of BA Associates, a migration agency at Nayapaltan in Dhaka. A local middleman, Saiful Islam, sent her to the Middle Eastern country on April 24 through the agency. 

“There were 40 other women with me, who were taken to unknown places every night. After some time, they were brought back to the room, in which I stayed. We were served with only rice and salt to eat once a day.  I will never let my near and dear ones go to that country,” a teary Majeda said, while narrating her ordeals to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

She also urged the authorities concerned to protect and take back those women who are still facing torture there. 

Majeda’s daughter Shampa Akhter said: “Despite frantic efforts, we could not contact my mother as she was held incommunicado 15 days after she went to Saudi Arabia. After some days, she called us, cried on the phone, and pleaded for help.” 

Saiful, the son of Mohor Ali of Baniarchhit village and a former member of Kalia union parishad in the upazila, demanded Tk60,000 for arranging her visa and travel. 

“My mother gave him Tk35,000 in advance. Tk25,000 was supposed to be deducted from her wage. But, after taking her to Saudi Arabia, Saiful and his fellow syndicate members held my mother hostage and demanded Tk1,60,000 as ransom for her release,” Shampa alleged.

Kismat Ali, a local union parishad member, confirmed the matter, saying “Majeda had been inhumanely tortured in Saudi Arabia. She went to the country with the aid of BA Associates. I helped her come back home after knowing about her sufferings.”

SM Tuhin, officer-in-charge of Sakhipur police station, said they would launch an investigation into the matter once they receive a complaint from the victim.

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