x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Human trafficking defendant tries to kill himself in court

An Indian man accused of human trafficking tries to choke himself with a scarf in a Dubai court.

DUBAI // An Indian farmer accused of being part of a human trafficking ring tried to strangle himself in court yesterday. After the panel of judges adjourned the trial until next month, K  K, 40, tried to choke himself by pulling on a scarf that was knotted around his neck. As officers rushed to the dock to restrain him, K  K stared at the judges and mumbled incoherently in his native Hindi. Officials and onlookers in the public gallery at Dubai Criminal Court watched the incident in shock, and a female police officer at the back of the courtroom screamed. The officers husseled KK back to a detention cell. He is charged, along with two other men, also from India, of luring three Bangladeshi women to the country with the promise of legitimate work, then forcing them into prostitution in their brothel. K K, S S, 27, a mechanic and A S, 31, a painter, are also accused of raping and assaulting the women. The trial was postponed until April 12 because four police officers scheduled to appear as prosecution witnesses failed to appear. The trial has been delayed several times for the same reason since it began on October 5. The three were arrested on January 21 last year. Prosecutors say they are members of an "organised human trafficking ring", of which some alleged members remain at large. They "illegally imprisoned the women, offering them for sale to procurers", and assaulted them, they say, according to court documents. One of the alleged victims, aged 20, told prosecutors she was brought into the country to work as a maid. After she arrived, she was imprisoned for a month and told she would be a prostitute. She claims she was assaulted and raped after she refused. Another victim, aged 25, told prosecutors that she came here to work as a tailor, but within two weeks was forced to work as a prostitute. The women said that they were forced to have sex with four or five men on a daily basis. Dr Amir Hashim Rashid, a general practitioner at Dar al Shifa Medical Centre, said it was impossible to strangle one's self in that manner. "Once the blood supply to the brain stops, he will automatically release his hands, " Dr Rashid said. "In this case, he was probably trying to pass a message to the court rather than a serious attempt to kill himself." amustafa@thenational.ae