The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily 

            Tuesday 22 July 2008 (18 Rajab 1429

            RIYADH: An Asian housemaid has taken shelter at her embassy after 
being abducted and gang-raped by seven men in Riyadh last week.

            "The 22-year old maid ... was forced into a car, taken to an 
undisclosed location and later dropped off at the same place from where she was 
picked up," said a spokesman for the embassy.

            "The housemaid left her employer's home to throw garbage into the 
municipality's garbage bin when the men overpowered her and abducted her," he 
said, adding that the men invited their friends to rape the woman until she 
bled and became unconscious.

            "The men repeatedly raped her and left her in a battered and 
bleeding state," he said.

            On June 27, Arab News reported the story of another maid who was 
also gang-raped and is now being cared for at a maids' shelter run by her 

            The embassy spokesman said the victim of the first rape would be 
repatriated to her country. "No arrests have been made in both cases so far... 
A number of similar cases are being reported by different embassies on a more 
frequent basis now," he added.

            Over the past year, local newspapers have reported incidents of 
maids giving birth to babies after falling pregnant in sexual assaults. 

            The problem of maids being abused has become a major issue for some 
embassies, which are forced to devote a substantial amount of their time, 
effort and money in dealing with the problem.

            Meanwhile, Waleed Al- Soweidan, chairman of the Saudi Recruitment 
Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Kingdom 
started directly recruiting housemaids from Nepal following an agreement 
between the two countries several months ago. Due to the absence of a Saudi 
diplomatic mission in Katmandu, Nepalese maids come to the Kingdom via India or 

            Al-Soweidan said that the National Recruitment Committee has agreed 
that the monthly salary for a housemaid from Nepal should be no less than SR500 
and that Katmandu should train the maids before sending them to the Kingdom. 



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