Torture of six Ugandan maids an isolated incident: Official

Updated 27 January 2016
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Torture of six Ugandan maids an isolated incident: Official

RIYADH: An isolated incident against six housemaids has led to a ban of Ugandan maids coming to the Kingdom, according to an official from Saudi recruiting offices here.
Uganda last week announced that it has stopped sending housemaids to Saudi Arabia, violating a deal between the two nations to send workers to the Kingdom, amid complaints of poor conditions and mistreatment.
The ban will remain until working conditions in Saudi Arabia are “deemed fitting,” the Ugandan government said.
A spokesman for the recruitment offices, Majed Al-Haqqas, said that the ban came as a shock to Saudi Arabia since the Ugandan government embarked on the ban without proper notice. Thereby, he said, many households are suffering from an absence of maids.
Explaining the circumstances that triggered the ban, Al-Haqqas said that six Ugandan maids came to the Kingdom for employment and their local company intimidated them to go to a certain household following ill-treatment. In a way of addressing high unemployment rate among young people in Uganda, its government signed a deal with the Kingdom in July for the deployment of university graduates to work for households in Saudi Arabia.
According to the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Uganda, the cost of the recruitment fee should not exceed SR7,000 and the monthly wage of the housemaid was fixed at SR750. Al-Haqqas pointed out that now the recruiting charges have shot up to SR14,000 and the monthly stipend has risen to SR900.
The spokesman commended that Ugandan maids are educated and well-oriented to the local culture and fluently speak English.
The demand for housemaids was created following a ban on Indonesian maids who were present in large numbers in the Kingdom.
The Ugandan ban also came after an audio recording was widely circulated last week on social media of Ugandans in Saudi Arabia who said they were being tortured and imprisoned.
According to the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Welfare, it has received complaints of workers being treated inhumanely by their employers in Saudi Arabia.
According to official Ugandan figures, some 500 housemaids have already come to the Kingdom for employment since the deal took effect.


King Salman orders release of prisoners jailed on financial charges in Taif

Updated 10 min 56 sec ago
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King Salman orders release of prisoners jailed on financial charges in Taif

TAIF: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered the release of all prisoners who are jailed on financial charges, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Prince Mohammad bin Salman, also the deputy prime minster and Saudi Arabia’s minister of defense, said during his royal highness’ visit to Taif province on Saturday, that the Saudi king has ordered the release of prisoners jailed on financial charges not criminal charges. 

The decision applies to inmates who have been proven to be financially unable in the province of Taif. The King also ordered the payment of their dues.