JAFFA, Israel – Saudi police have been investigating the death of a Filipina migrant worker who was hospitalized in the capital Riyadh after being battered unconscious.
The media in the Philippines quoted Filipina nurses at the hospital saying that the victim, who worked as a domestic servant and was identified by her first name, Irma, blamed her employer before succumbing to her wounds.
The Philippines’ Deputy Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said they are waiting for the results of the investigation to determine whether the cause of death was violence or disease.
He also said the woman’s employer was arrested after the bruises and bloodstains on her body raised the hospital staff’s suspicion.
“We cannot rule out the possibility that Irma died as a result of being assaulted by her employer,” an embassy source said.
Almost 400 Filipinas have married Saudi men while working in the kingdom, the Saudi media reported. Saudi law requires that a “custodian” be present on behalf of the bride – normally her father or brother – in order to endorse the marriage, but in the Filipinas’ case the judge acts as a custodian.