Saturday, March 14, 2009

JUNA - a typical story

"Juna escaped from two separate sets of people - her employers and a couple who picked her up on the road promising to take her to her agency. Instead she was taken to their home and locked up. Juna says little about these episodes other than that they were ‘bad people’. Her escape from the 3rd floor resulted in fractured spine and legs. During her treatment it was discovered that Juna was 3-4 months pregnant.

After Juna was discharged she was sent to Rumaithiya prison because her sponsors had filed a case against her for ‘running away’. Prisons are not equipped to deal with pregnant women and Juna suffered much spinal pain from her recently healed fracture and her pregnancy.

The police assured us that the deportation center she was going to next, was a ‘hotel’ for the maids with beds and proper facilities. But when we saw it, we were aghast at the conditions – no beds, filthy mattresses lining a wet floor, cramped with women, guarded by men who looked at them only in one way. Some of them had been there for months – one lady even going mad and removing her clothing and walking around. Two Filipino maids had been there previously and in spite of having tickets to travel, were not allowed to go – the tickets eventually expired.

We were told that if we purchased a ticket they would let Juna fly as her passport was already in hand. With donated funds we bought one and handed it in. In the mean time Juna was visited and given a back brace for her spine.

A day before the flight we went to the deportation center just to check on her – we were told she would not be flying because they had entered her name on the list as Nuna not Juna. And they refused to do anything about it...Men told us to get lost, go away and not come back, they asked us who we were in relation to Juna and even referred to one of our African volunteers as ‘Sudani’. Some just said ‘we are not going to help you’.
On the actual day of the flight, verbal fights occurred with our ids being asked for and the threat of deportation looming. One of our members simply refused to budge until something was done. She yelled Haram angrily and caused a public scene. After a long time, simply out of anger and frustration, they guaranteed that Juna would be sent to the airport that night at 7pm , 3 hours before her flight. Our member did not believe them and stayed in the deportation center from 6 onwards.

At 7 – there was no movement. 8 no movement. At 9, one hour before the flight, someone arrived and Juna was transported to the airport, with a volunteer trailing the car to make sure it did not deviate.

At the airport, Juna was on crutches as her pain had gotten very bad. Numerous times she was offered a wheelchair by Airport officials. A cleaner was so enraged that she was walking he offered to pay any costs to get her in a wheelchair. But the Deportation escort refused. When she sat down in one, the man said motioned with his fingers – get up. He forced her to walk painfully all the way from the airport entrance to her gate.

People from the airport looked on in shock as a pregnant woman with a spinal injury was forced to go without a wheelchair because he wanted it that way and had the authority to make it happen. We pleaded with him that she was pregnant and injured, but his face only said that we were wasting his time with the whole ordeal.

Although the case of Juna should be considered a victory among cases that are never even addressed, the shock of individuals who wilfully want the suffering of others to continue, makes it anything but."
Written by a very concerned and very much involved Expat in Kuwait

This is just one out of a few hundred cases EACH MONTH!!
The above story is just one... there are thousands of them! Spread the awareness and involve as many people, news agencies, embassies, governments and help organizations as possible.
I will start by sending this article to the Human Rights Watch, the U.N., the German and the American Embassy and Amnesty International. But the more letters and stories reach these authorities the better!!!

6 comments:

intlxpatr said...

God bless the work of their hands, and their persistence in insuring she actually got on the plane to go home.

Her story is like SO many.

Mathai said...

Sad thing is.. there are thousands of maids/domestic helpers who still want to come here coz of poverty back home in their countries.

lensman said...

This prison sounds like something from a grotesque movie... Hard to believe that places like that exist in Kuwait!

Its really sad what happens to the maids who come here.

Anonymous said...
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أُمنيّة said...

why stopped posting?

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