Gulf | Saudi Arabia

Domestic helper slits child’s throat in Saudi Arabia

She said she could not bear the ill-treatment she was receiving

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:21 June 25, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: A new gruesome murder involving a foreign domestic helper and a local child has shaken Saudi Arabia to the core after police said that a 26-year-old Ethiopian had slit the throat of her sponsor’s daughter, aged six.

Reports in the Saudi capital Riyadh said that the police received a call late on Sunday evening informing them that the helper and a child were missing.

The child was eventually found in a bathroom, but the helper could not be traced, Sabq news site reported on Tuesday.

The police, dispatched to the home in the suburbs of Riyadh, found the victim in a pool of blood after her throat was slit with a sharp object, most likely the knife found next to the lifeless body.

They eventually found the helper hiding in a store behind the house and holding a cleaver in an act of self-defence.

She was brought under control and taken for investigations. She reportedly confessed she had killed the child.

According to a local report, the woman said that she could no longer bear the alleged ill-treatment she was receiving from the family and that she killed their daughter to exact revenge.

The woman was kept in jail and the police are still investigating the murder.

In March, an Indonesian domestic helper was sentenced to death after the court found her guilty of killing Tala, the daughter of her employers in the Red Sea city of Yanbu.

The helper who had been with Tala’s family for seven years used a cleaver to end the child’s life while the father and mother were at work and the other two sisters at school.

No reason was given for the murder, but reports claimed that it was most likely linked to text messages the helper received from Indonesia on her mobile.

Indonesian consulate officials in Saudi Arabia said that they would initiate legal action against the person who sent the messages from Indonesia that apparently led to the child’s murder.

The murder triggered a wave of sympathy for the family, especially as the father caused an accident in which two people were killed as he rushed home to help his distraught wife after she discovered the crime.

Several women teachers used the tragedy to press the education ministry to open nurseries in schools and help provide day care for their babies and young children.

They said that most teachers, including the victim’s mother, were forced to leave their babies and toddlers at home in the care of helpers and that the situation was not always comfortable.

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