Indian Domestic Helper’s Body Found Hanging in Saudi Arabia
The man is thought to have committed suicide when his employers went out for a family gathering.
The body of a 49-year-old domestic help was found hanging at his work place in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province on Dec. 6. Gudeti Bhavanna was a native of Kolipaka village in the Nizamabad district of Telangana.
Bhavanna, who was working as a domestic helper with a Saudi family for the last three years, is believed to have committed suicide, the Deccan Chronicle reported. He worked in Dubai for a while before he came to Saudi Arabia. Police teams rushed to the scene as soon as they were informed about the incident and shifted his body to the hospital.
Bhavanna’s employer was visiting a nearby town for a family gathering along with his family. On their return at night, the employer did not find Bhavanna opening the gates and helping them with their bags. After he found him missing from the house, he checked the pump house where he found the domestic help’s body hanging from a water pipeline, reports said.
The Indian workers who lived in the area informed a friend who lived in Bhavanna’s village in India about his death, after finding the telephone number in his diary.
The police found no signs of violence. Investigations into the cause of death are on. The family members have requested the state government to help them bring the body back to India.
The World Report of 2017 released by the Human Rights Watch group revealed that over 9 million migrant workers fill manual, clerical, and service jobs, constituting more than half the workforce in Saudi Arabia. Some suffer abuses and exploitation, sometimes amounting to conditions of forced labor in Saudi Arabia, the report said.
“The kafala (sponsorship) system ties migrant workers’ residency permits to “sponsoring” employers, whose written consent is required for workers to change employers or exit the country under normal circumstances,” it added.
Domestic workers, mostly women, faced a number of abuses such as overwork, forced confinement, non-payment of wages, food deprivation, and psychological, physical, and sexual abuse without the authorities holding their employers to account. Workers who attempted to report employer abuses sometimes faced prosecution based on counterclaims of theft, “black magic,” or “sorcery.”
In many cases, employers illegally confiscate passports, withhold wages, and force migrants to work against their will. Saudi Arabia also imposes an exit visa requirement, forcing migrant workers to obtain permission from their employer to leave the country. “Workers who leave their employer without their consent can be charged with ‘absconding’ and face imprisonment and deportation. Such a system can trap workers in abusive conditions, and punish victims who flee abuse,” the report added.