Kuwait 'rapes'

President Fidel Ramos yesterday ordered the Philippines Foreign Office to investigate swiftly accusations by Filipina maids that employers in Kuwait had beaten or raped them or not paid their wages, Reuter reports from Manila.

A statement from the presidential palace said some maids also alleged they had been raped by Kuwaiti policemen in the Philippines embassy. More than 400 Filipina maids have returned in the past two weeks under a Kuwaiti-funded repatriation scheme. Kuwaiti officials have said reports of abuses are made up or exaggerated.