x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Clemency for woman who dumped baby

A woman who was granted clemency with seven other female inmates in July will be allowed to return home with her daughter.

A woman who was granted clemency with seven other female inmates in July will be allowed to return home with her daughter. MCT, 41, a Filipina, was one of eight female prisoners granted release on July 7 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The women had been serving their jail terms with their children at a baby room at the Dubai Central Jail.

Although she has not been given details of her flight to Manila, she hopes to travel within the week. MCT was jailed in May last year for dumping her baby in a bin moments after giving birth in a lavatory on Jan 30 2007. Her daughter, whom she named Meera, is now 20 months old. MCT gave birth at the Dubai driving school where she was taking lessons. MCT claimed she thought her baby was dead and said her mind "was in shambles that day".

She wrapped her daughter in a plastic bag and put her into a skip. The baby was found later by a Pakistani security guard, who called the police. The baby was taken to Al Wasl Hospital, and when well enough, was reunited with her mother at the women's detention centre in Bur Dubai Police Station. They were later transferred to a special baby room at the Dubai Central Jail. On May 31 last year, MCT was sentenced by the Dubai Court of First Instance to three years in jail, followed by deportation. She appealed the verdict at the Dubai Court of Appeal but it was upheld on July 8 last year.

Two months later, the Dubai Court of Cassation confirmed her sentence. She was also sentenced to six months in jail by an Al Ain court for illicit relations. She has a husband and two adult children in the Philippines, and admitted to the public prosecution that the baby's father was a Pakistani taxi driver in Al Ain. Following the pardoning of the eight mothers, Sheikh Mohammed also ordered in August the release of 777 prisoners to mark the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, which began on the first day of September.

Pardoned prisoners holding a valid passport or outpass [travel document] and an airline ticket are deported to their home countries after completing eye scan and fingerprinting procedures. "I had my eye scan last week," MCT said. "I could not leave before Ramadan since I had to get a clearance from the Al Ain courts." She said her former employer in Al Ain, where she worked as a housemaid before her arrest last year, had sponsored her airline ticket.

rruiz@thenational.ae