x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Filipina maid to testify over 'cruel' abuse by employer

The housemaid who claims she was held hostage for one and a half years by her employer is due to appear in an Ajman court.

DUBAI // A Filipina housemaid who claims she was mistreated and held hostage for one and a half years is due to testify before an Ajman court on January 4. Marilyn Vinluan, 25, has been staying in a shelter managed by labour and welfare officials at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Deira since August. The housemaid alleged that she was slapped and kicked regularly, and beaten with an electrical wire. She said she was locked in her employer's home in Ajman, but managed to escape on August 9.

She took a taxi to her agency's office, and was then taken to hospital, where she stayed for two weeks and was treated for a broken rib and back injuries. After the housemaid was released from hospital, the consulate helped her file a complaint with Ajman police against her female employer, who was arrested on an assault charge and referred to the prosecutors. Benito Valeriano, the consul general at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, had earlier described the mistreatment as "cruelty beyond imagination".

Mary Simangan, the welfare officer in Dubai, said Ms Vinluan's employer was jailed but has since been released on bail. Ms Vinluan is also said to be owed back wages. Her employer said her salary was deposited in a bank and that she could take it once she returned to the Philippines, according to Ms Simangan. rruiz@thenational.ae