Illustration of violence against women
Illustration of violence against women

Bangladesh Civil Society for Migrants (BCSM), a platform of 19 organisations, has placed a demand to carry out post mortem after exhuming the dead body of 14-year-old Kulsum, says a press release.

Kulsum, a young girl from Brahmanbaria, died in King Faisal Hospital of Saudi Arabia on 9 August after being tortured by her employer.

Advertisement

The platform also demanded the government take steps against the guilty person in accordance with the Saudi law.

BCSM urged the government to take exemplary action against the recruiters and government officials who unlawfully sent a 14-year-old girl to the Middle East country.

The body of Kulsum arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 1:30am on 11 September. She was buried at Nurpur village of Gokorna union of Nasirnagar upazila in Brahmanbaria the following day.

Kulsum had gone to Saudi Arabia through a local middleman Razzak Mia after spending Tk 30,000. MH Trade International (RL No. 1166) sent Kulsum for domestic work in Saudi Arabia 17 months ago.

Family members said the employer started torturing physically and sexually since joining work. Under the circumstances, they contacted the recruiting agency, but the agency did not take any step to bring back Kulsum.

The family also alleged the employer and his son broke Kulsum’s knee, hip and legs four months ago, and after a few days left her on a street with one of her eyes damaged. Later, Saudi police rescued her and admitted her to King Faisal Hospital.

Advertisement

On 17 August, Kulsum’s father Shahidul Islam applied to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) for the dead body and eight months of her due wages.

He also sought justice from the government. Her family wants to know why 14-year-old Kulsum had to die in a foreign land after being tortured.

How did 14-year-old Kulsum get a clearance certificate to go to Saudi Arabia, completing all government procedures, BCSM asked, adding Kulsum had to pay Tk 30,000 whereas a domestic worker is supposed to go free of cost.

Why did not the agency take steps to bring her back after news of torture? What steps is the government taking against the agency for its negligence? What did the role Bangladesh embassy play after the revelation of the incident?

What did the Saudi authorities not inform the Bangladesh embassy about the unnatural death of Kulsum? Why did the government allow the burial of Kulsum without a postmortem as it was not a natural death? The organisation raised these questions.