Kuwaiti held for recording maid's fall

Kuwaiti police have detained a woman for filming her Ethiopian maid falling from the seventh floor in an apparent suicide attempt.
Kuwaiti police have detained a woman for filming her Ethiopian maid falling from the seventh floor in an apparent suicide attempt.PHOTO: ALMAJLLISS/TWITTER

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Kuwaiti police have detained a woman for filming her Ethiopian maid falling from the seventh floor in an apparent suicide attempt without trying to rescue her, local media and a rights group said yesterday.

The Kuwaiti woman filmed her maid landing on a metal awning, then posted the incident on social media, Al-Seyassah newspaper reported.

The 12-second video shows the maid hanging outside the building, one hand tightly gripping the window frame, as she begs for help in an apparent last-minute change of mind.

The woman holding the camera is heard telling the maid: "Oh crazy, come back."

The terrified maid is seen screaming "hold me, hold me", just before her hand slips and she falls down to hit the awning.

The employer showed no reaction as she continued filming.

Paramedics later rescued the maid and rushed her to hospital, where she was found to have bleeding in the nose and ear and a broken arm, the newspaper said.

She survived the fall.

The police referred the employer to the prosecution over failing to help the victim, Al-Seyassah reported. The reasons for the maid's attempted suicide were not revealed.

The Kuwait Society for Human Rights yesterday called on the authorities to investigate the case and refer it to court.

The oil-rich Gulf state is home to more than 600,000 domestic helpers, most of whom are Asians. Many complain of abuse, mistreatment and non-payment of wages.

Hundreds of maids escape their employers every year over abuse and the government has set up shelters for them. Some seek help from their embassies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2017, with the headline 'Kuwaiti held for recording maid's fall'. Print Edition | Subscribe