Sexual abuse in KSA breaks Bangladeshi woman’s psyche

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The return of Rubina Begum, a 22-year-old domestic worker revealed the horrendous details of her abuse at the hands of her employers in Saudi Arabia which has left her mentally disturbed.

Hailing from Bongaon village, Islampur union 9 of Kamalganj, Moulvibazar, Rubina, wife of Ful Miah was admitted to Mukti Medical hospital in Srimangal on November 28, two days after her return from the Middle Eastern kingdom.

She was later released from the institution on Sunday due to a lack of funds to finance her treatment.

Pankaj Talukder, a nurse working at the private hospital, confirmed that the patient was in a “mentally vulnerable state” during her admission at the hospital.

On the other hand, Dr Shadhon Chandra Ghosh and chief nurse Dipti Deb, who attended to the patient said: “There is evidence of multiple marks from cigarette burns and bruises all over her body, including her private parts, which will require some time to heal. The physical abuse has left her mentally disturbed. She also needs some treatment in that regard.”

Ful Miah related her ordeal: “Upon her return from Saudi Arabia, following government intervention on November 26, Rubina lost consciousness while telling horror stories of her brutal abuse at the hands of her employers. She went there to send back the money but instead, she returned half-dead.”

“After seven to eight months of our marriage, Rubina went to Saudi Arabia on April 28 this year to work as domestic help following local manpower businessman Mostofa Kamal’s insistence. However, upon her arrival in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, she found out that she had been sold into prostitution for Tk3-4 lakhs,” Ful Miah added.

“Her (Rubina’s) reluctance to engage in sexual acts led to a tremendous amount of sexual abuse. She was confined to a room where young men would sexually abuse her, rape, gang-rape her until she would lose consciousness. She was brutally beaten up with marks all over her limbs. They stubbed cigarettes on her body, leaving burn marks on her chest and private areas. At one point, the Saudi police rescued her and admitted her to a hospital,” said the victim’s husband, who sent his wife in the hopes of earning a substantial amount of money despite being reluctant at first.

Furthermore, Ful Miah informed that when he contacted Mostofa Kamal regarding her condition, he did not pay any heed to the allegations. It was only when her family approached the UNO of Kamalganj that Rubina could return to her home after six months and 26 days.

Kamal had promised the couple that Rubina would live a secure life in Saudi Arabia. However, Ful Miah lost contact with Rubina a few days after her arrival in that country.

When members of the local press visited Kamal’s residence to verify the allegations, an individual came out and informed that he is not home.

Siddique Ali, Rubina’s father confirmed to Dhaka Tribune: “We went to (Mostofa) Kamal regularly to find out about my daughter’s state. Kamal initially said that she was at a Saudi prison and later on, he suggested that she had been released.”

Aashiqui Haque, UNO, Kamalganj said: “We are going to take steps to ensure the victim’s treatment and rehabilitation. Moreover, we are talking to her family about pursuing a case against those responsible for her current state.”

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