Sun, Dec 26, 2010
Alleged Saudi maid abuser denies torture charges

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A Saudi woman, accused of attacking and torturing her Indonesian maid last month, now claimed that her maid had tortured herself because she was not normal, reported Arabic language newspaper Okaz.

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The unnamed 53-year-old Saudi woman made headlines around the world when news broke of the horrific injuries the maid suffered.

Saudi newspapers said she used a hot iron to torture her maid, 23-year-old Sumiati Salan Mustapa.

The maid was admitted to hospital with severe injuries to her head and body. Sumiati had surgery at a hospital in Madina to repair her damaged scalp and mouth.

She has been discharged from hospital but requires further physical and psychological treatment.

The Saudi woman's lawyer, Ahmed Al Rashid, told Okaz that his client was planning to demand damages from authorities for detaining her for over a month at the female prison.

He said the maid was suffering from mental problems and that he would reject any medical reports issued outside Saudi Arabia proving otherwise.

Sumiati's case has sparked public and official furore in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, the largest supplier of housemaids to the Gulf kingdom. The incident has prompted calls in Indonesia to stop sending domestic workers to Saudi Arabia, where nearly two million maids work.



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