2 women 'forced into sex trade' in Bahrain
Manama, August 5, 2014
Two Indonesians sheltered at a government-run centre for abused women in Bahrain have claimed a gang forced them into prostitution.
The women, who worked as maids in different homes, told they were lured into vice by a group of Bangladeshi men after they ran away from their employers, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, one of them managed to call the police, who helped the pair escape their abductors.
They have been in the care of the Dar Al Aman Centre for the last two months as legal procedures continue in their cases.
A 25-year-old said she was "sold" to the group by a Bahraini man who spotted her on the side of the road in Sitra.
"I was made to work from 6am until 1pm and had to do all heavy work, apart from which I was beaten up for silly reasons," she claimed.
"One day I ran away and on the way a Bahraini man in a taxi saw me crying and said he would help me find another job.
"He took me to a Bangladeshi man in a flat and I saw him taking BD200 ($527.8) from the man before he left.
"I was inside that flat for a week and the Bangladeshi man forced me to go with other men - I resisted and he too was abusive.
"Finally one day, when I got a chance I called up the police from my cellphone and they came and rescued me and arrested the man."
The other woman, a 30-year-old mother-of-one, claimed she was lured into a similar trap by her friend's Bangladeshi boyfriend.
"I worked with my employer in Sanabis for one-and-a-half years and, unlike what I was told when I came, I was made to work in two houses," she said
"I was tired of the hectic job and my friend's boyfriend, a Bangladeshi, asked to come out of the house and promised to get me a better job
"Trusting his words I came out and was kept in a flat in Gudaibiya for a week.
"There were other women with me and the man forced us to go to hotels in taxis in the evening, which I refused.
"I sneaked out one day and called my employer and said sorry for running away from them and requested to take me back.
"However, they said they had registered a case against me as I was missing and asked me to report the matter to the police.
“The police took me to the shelter and they arrested the man."
She said she was desperate for a job because she was her family's sole breadwinner.
"I have a two-and-half year old daughter and my husband is a taxi driver in Indonesia," she explained.
"I had worked in Saudi Arabia for eight years and we built a house of our own, but my husband is sick and we needed money to support ourselves and hence I took this offer in Bahrain.
"I wish I could find another job here, so that I don't have to go empty-handed back to my family."
Both women said their employers owed them money, claiming they were not paid for several months before fleeing.
They cannot return home until Bahrain's courts issue a ruling in three cases - one filed against the men who held them captive and the others lodged by their employers for running away.
Dar Al Aman Centre head Dr Huda Al Mahmood said the shelter was powerless when it came to getting the women's money back or even repatriating them.
"Sometimes we are able to help some women find another job, if the case is not complex, but mostly that's not the case," she said.
"In these cases, we are following up with the prosecution and have put in our recommendation to the Social Development Ministry on getting their pay and retrieving their belongings." - TradeArabia News Service