A Tortured House Maid – Slave Labor Persists in Bangladesh

Bedena at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.

Bedena at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.

A housemaid of Mymensingh has landed in a hospital with critical injuries following brutal torture by her employers.
She was not only tortured without giving any treatment, but also barred from meeting her son and parents in the last two and a half years.
The horrific tale of her life came to light after some locals rescued her in the early hours of Wednesday from Phulbaria Old Bus Stand area, where she was left by her employers by a private car.
Bedena Akhtar, 26, daughter of Mozibur Rahman of Dewkhola village in Phulbaria upazila of the district, is now undergoing treatment at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, with bruises all around her face.
She used to live at Balashpur Abasan Palli in the town with her cousin Nabi Hossain’s family before Monira Begum and her daughter Joyati in the area persuaded her to take up the job of a housemaid at the house of Jesse and Sohagh in the town with a monthly salary of  BDT 2,000.
But soon after her joining, the couple kept on torturing her over trivial issues, she alleged, adding that the scale of brutality escalated when she had demanded her monthly salary.
“Jesse used to tell me that she had bought me as a slave at BDT 40,000 from Monira and Joyati, and therefore, I have to work for free,” Bedena said.
The couple used to torture her by spraying hot water on her body, stabbing her with hot kitchen knives, and beating her up with sticks and rolling pins, alleged Bedena.
Jesse as usual tortured her Tuesday morning on the pretext that Bedena could not prepare breakfast in time, leaving her unconscious.
She discovered herself in the bathroom after regaining her consciousness.
The couple then left her in Phulbaria Old Bus Stand area in the town around 12:30am on Wednesday.
Later locals took her to her cousin Nabi, who got her admitted to the MMCH the following morning.
Nabi said his cousin had joined the work without informing him.
He pressed Monira and Joyati for Bedena’s whereabouts, but they told him that she had eloped with someone else, Nabi said.
Dr Tawfiq, an on-duty doctor at ward no 9 of MMCH, told this correspondent that the patient had sustained injuries on the upper portion of her body, and her right wrist had also been fractured.
The victim’s father filed a case with Kotwali Police Station Wednesday morning.
Police arrested Monira and Joyati on Thursday, but the couple is still at large.
Sub-inspector Mohammad Nasim, investigation officer of the case, said police had recorded the victim’s statement. Both Monira and Joyati were produced before a court, which sent them to jail, he said.
Officer-in-Charge Abu Md Fazlul Karim said the victim would be given legal support so that she could get justice.



The Daily Star, 5/11/2014


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Posted in Domestic Workers

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