Thursday, 28 May 2020

Rape Of Decorum And Diplomatic Ethics

Updated: September 18, 2015 10:40 am

The reports of a Saudi Arabian diplomat in India accused of sexually abusing servants have outraged people all over India. Police raided the apartment in the extremely expensive Ambience Island in Gurgaon after receiving tip-off from an NGO over allegations that two women had been held at flat and gang-raped. The Saudi Arabian embassy had denied allegations that one of its senior diplomats (believed to be a First Secretary) kept two domestic servants captive in a flat where they were repeatedly gang-raped.

Both women were from remote rural areas of Nepal and had been sent to Delhi this year by agents in their home country who had promised them well-paid jobs in the Gulf, campaigners said.

Vijay Lama, an NGO worker involved in the case, was reported to have said the pair had spent two weeks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, before being brought back to Delhi by their employer, a senior diplomat at the kingdom’s embassy to India. The abuse is said to have started on their return to India and continued until the women, aged 20 and 40, were seen by a newly recruited domestic servant who told campaigners who then informed authorities, according to police.

“These women were held in [a] seven-star living condominium … for the past one-and-a-half months. The flat owner, reportedly a Saudi national, used to sexually assault the victims,” Rajesh Kumar, an assistant commissioner of police in Gurgaon said. The two women have flown back to Nepal but now the investigation has hit a block with the claim of immunity under diplomatic protocol. But before the immunity claim and the diplomat shifting to the Embassy, Police had launched an official investigation into offences under laws on gang-rape, rape, unnatural sex and abduction. In statements before a local magistrate, the women claimed to have been raped first by their employer then by up to six men at once, to have been denied food and drinking water, and to have been threatened with violence. They repeated their claims to local media. The Saudi embassy in Delhi dismissed the allegations as “completely false” and “contrary to facts in our possession”, the Indian news agency IANS reported. No arrests have been made so far. Trafficking in south Asia is a major problem, with Gulf countries a growing destination for networks. Many victims come from Nepal, though others are Indian. In July, police at Delhi’s main airport detained two airline staff and two suspected traffickers. They also took 21 young Nepalese women into their care, seven from the airport itself—where they were being led onto a flight to Dubai—and the rest from a hotel nearby. Most of the women were from areas devastated by April’s earthquake in Nepal. Lama said the two women were part of a group of more than 30 brought by agents from Kathmandu this year and sent to the Gulf. The whereabouts of other members of the group were unknown.

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