RIYADH (AFP) – A Saudi court in Medina has sentenced a woman to three years in prison for stabbing, beating and burning her Indonesian maid with an iron, Saudi newspapers reported Monday.
The Saudi employer still insisted on Sunday that she was not guilty and had nothing to do with the wounds inflicted on Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, al-Watan daily said.
The woman was sentenced under the newly-enacted anti-human trafficking royal decree, the paper said, quoting a lawyer for the Indonesian consulate, Abdulrahman al-Muhamadi.
Muhamadi said he will appeal the ruling, pressing for a tougher punishment.
Sumiati had appeared in court last week showing the judge the marks of her wounds, after she had failed to attend an earlier hearing.
The Saudi woman was arrested after allegedly beating Sumiati so severely as to break bones and cause internal bleeding, putting a hot iron to her head and stabbing and slashing her with scissors.
Sumiati’s case shocked and outraged rights groups and labour activists as another example of the paucity of protection for millions of mostly Asian domestic workers, especially in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
Saudi Arabia’s labour ministry said it was sorry about the case, but called it an isolated incident.
In November, Sumiati underwent surgery but according to an Indonesian consulate official in Jeddah, Diddi Wahyudi, she will need a further operation.