Expat Physician Held Against His Will Fights for Rights
Raid Qusti, Arab News
RIYADH, 28 June 2005 â€” Dr. Ganesh Pande, a specialist in internal medicine, has been working in the Kingdom since 1986. Nineteen years later he is a prisoner. The doctorâ€™s sponsor has not paid him since 2002 and has held his passport against his will. In other words, Dr. Pande has been denied both his financial entitlements and his right to a vacation since 2002.
Over the past few years, the Saudi media has been noting abuse of expatriate employees by their Saudi employers. The cases they’ve raised have ranged from Indonesia housemaids who have been beaten, raped, and gone unpaid. This tory involves an Indian doctor who has been caught in a mesh of less-than-competent bureaucracy, an apparently uncaring employer, and the byzantine laws that apply to expats.
To anyone who’s worked in the kingdom, this story isn’t very exceptional–many similar cases can be cited. What is different, though, is that the story is being reported in the Saudi media, for a Saudi audience, in a piece written by the Riyadh editor for Arab News. This is an example of an activist media, something the country can use right now.