KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – An appeals court has reduced a jail term to seven years of a Kuwaiti woman who left her Asian maid to suffer for 10 hours until she died after pushing her into a bathtub, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The criminal court had sentenced the woman, whose name was not given, to 15 years in jail after convicting her of “intentionally” killing her maid by repeatedly beating her with iron and wooden objects, Al-Watan newspaper said.
Then the woman pushed the maid into the bathtub and left her motionless for 10 hours until she died, the paper said.
Al-Watan quoted the Kuwaiti woman’s lawyer Yacoub al-Sane as saying that the appeals court agreed to change the charge from “intentional killing” to “beating that led to death” and accordingly reduced the sentence.
The Gulf state of Kuwait is home to over 600,000 Asian domestic helpers who often complain of maltreatment, non-payment of salary and tough working conditions. Many flee to their embassies.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Monday criticised the treatment of an estimated 12 million foreign workers in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Many are subject to illegal practices like confiscation of their passports, withholding wages and exploitation by job agents, Pillay said in an address at a Saudi Arabian university.