x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Woman promised job as housemaid was raped and forced into prostitution

Four men who trafficked a 22-year-old Bangladeshi have each been sentenced to five years in prison.

DUBAI // Four men who trafficked a 22-year-old Bangladeshi woman and forced her into prostitution have each been sentenced to five years in prison by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. The victim, DY, 22, was lured to the Emirates on the false promise of a job as a housemaid by three Bangladeshis, identified as ML, 28; M S, 21; and S A, 32; along with an Indian, named as JR, 35.

She was was given shelter and counselling at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children after being rescued, and has been repatriated. She had been confined, beaten and threatened by the defendants and was raped by SA. She testified that she had been held in a room made of wooden partitions under the stairs of a building in Hamriya. She said the men threatened to keep her there for the rest of her life if she did not agree to work with a prostitute.

Upon her arrival in the Emirates, ML took her passport and threatened her while MS and SA guarded her room and allowed customers to come and go. JR was the ringleader, she said. She was able to escape her captors after MS told her she was being relocated. The woman pushed her handler away and made her way to a supermarket on Khalid Ibn al Walid Road, where she pleaded with customers to help her. A policeman who arrived at the supermarket to investigate found her hiding under a table.

DY received vocational training at the foundation, said Dr Afra al Basti, the organisation's executive director. She was repatriated at her own request after permission was granted by prosecutors in accordance with an initiative between the Justice Department and the DFWC to speed up cases involving violence towards women. The defendants, who were also sentenced to deportation, have two weeks to file an appeal.