Woman who filmed her maid falling from a building and didn't try to help 'detained by police' in Kuwait

The case has renewed questions about the treatment of domestic workers 

Will Worley
Sunday 02 April 2017 20:27
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The maid is seen hanging from a balcony as her employer looks on and films
The maid is seen hanging from a balcony as her employer looks on and films

Police in Kuwait have reportedly detained a woman who filmed her Ethiopian maid falling from the seventh floor of a building.

The woman did not try to help the maid and simple called to her “Oh, crazy, come back.”

Footage, posted by the woman to social media, showed the maid hanging onto a balcony with one hand, shouting “hold me, hold me” and screaming.

Her hand then slips and she falls down. A loud thud can be heard. The woman filming remained silent.

The maid reportedly survived with only minor injuries and another video showed her walking from the roof with emergency workers.

It is unclear how she came to be hanging from the balcony but local media reports suggested she was trying to kill herself.

The woman said she filmed the event because she didn’t want to be accused of the maid’s murder if she died.

The Kuwait Times reported that lawyer Fawzia al-Sabah would be filing a complaint with the public prosecutor over the behaviour of the woman.

The video has renewed questions over the treatment of domestic servants in Arab countries, where they are employed by many higher income families.

In Kuwait, there are around 600,000 domestic workers, mainly migrants to the oil rich gulf state.

Complaints of abuse are commonplace and the country’s kafala system of visa sponsorship prevents domestic workers from changing jobs without the permission of their employer.

Human Rights Watch says the kafala system “remains a major obstacle to domestic workers’ rights” despite some progress having been made in 2016 to protect them.

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