Flats plunge by Ethiopian maid

By BEGENA GEORGE
AN Ethiopian woman is recovering in hospital after she jumped from the second floor of a building in an attempt to escape alleged physical abuse by a manpower agency.
Serawit Gebre Medhen, 29, is being treated for head and leg injuries at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC).
She has worked in Bahrain for over a year as a housemaid, but had asked the Maliki Manpower Agency in Isa Town to be sent back to her country, saying that dust and heavy work were bad for her health.
"I first worked with an Iraqi family but they did not treat me well, so I told my agency, which sent me to work with a Bahraini family," said Ms Medhen.
"They were very good to me and treated me well - gave me the same good food that they ate.
"But the house had too many dusty carpets and I am allergic to it so I requested to be sent back to my country as my health had failed me and I knew I wouldn't be any good to them.
"My 'madam' took me to the agency and the manager got very angry with me when he heard my request and slapped me right across my face.
"This came as a shock to me but my madam too did not protest, maybe because she was scared.
"When I tried to explain myself, he ordered me to shut my mouth and if I didn't he would burn my face with a lit cigarette that he was holding."
She also claims that a female staff member at the agency hit her many times, once with a hardbound book on her head.
"My madam went home and I was asked to stay the night at the office at Jid Ali, where I was locked in.
"Last Wednesday at around 5.30pm, in an attempt to escape, I took my two bags in which I had all my belongings, passport and about BD170, opened the door that led to a balcony and dropped my bags first and then jumped from the second floor.
"That's all I can remember and when I opened my eyes later I was in the SMC, but my bags missing.
"I was told that someone who was passing in the area saw me lying on the road and called an ambulance, though I'm not sure.
"Take all my money and everything that I have and instead please send me back to my country," she said.
The manpower agency denied all the allegations against it and called Ms Medhen a 'liar'.
An agency spokesman, who did not want to be named, claimed no one from the agency had mistreated her and that she has always been a troublemaker.
"She is never happy wherever she is and we have tried helping her many times, but all she wants is to go back to her country."
The maid's sponsor claimed that Ms Medhen constantly fought with another Indonesian maid in the same house of the Bahraini family. A spokesman of the Ethiopian community in Bahrain, said her case was being followed up by the embassy in Kuwait.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at10:06 PM

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