I’m not a big fan of Lex Talionis, an-eye-for-an-eye, and thus would not make a very good Saudi. The Saudi legal system falls back on that form of retributive justice more than I care for. In the case of the Sri Lankan maid who returned from her job in Riyadh with at least 19 nails embedded in her body, allegedly put there by her Saudi employers, I might make an exception.
Lankan officials seek justice for maid in nails & needles case
MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN, ARAB NEWS
RIYADH: Sri Lankan officials strongly urged authorities in Saudi Arabia on Friday to investigate and bring to justice the persons responsible for torturing L.T. Ariyawathi, a 49-year-old Sri Lankan housemaid by heating up nails and needles and pushing them into her legs, arms, hands and forehead.
The maid said the Saudi couple she worked for in a Riyadh household committed the crime as a form of punishment. The couple has not been identified and Saudi officials were not available for comment on Friday.
Lankan Justice Ministry sources told Arab News on Friday that legal counsel would be provided to the maid to file a case in Saudi Arabia over the incident.
“The Bureau (of Foreign Employment) will make all arrangements to take her to Saudi Arabia to testify,” said L.K. Ruhunuge of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment.
I do not think this behavior typical of Saudis or Saudi employers of domestic workers: this act is singularly depraved. But the Saudi system for employing foreign domestic workers does not do nearly enough to protect those workers. Other aspects of Saudi society—primarily, privacy within one’s own home, but also a disdain for foreigners, women, and non-Muslims—make the situation worse. With this worker now back in Sri Lanka, conducting a full investigation into the case will be difficult and will rely on the good will of Saudi authorities. I truly do hope they step up. It’s not just the employer(s) who are shamed by this crime, but the whole of Saudi society. It’s seen internationally as ‘just another example of Saudi brutality’.