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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Housemaid With 24 Nails Hammered Into Body

Tom Bonnett, Sky News Online

A housemaid has had 24 nails hammered into her legs, hands and forehead after complaining her Saudi Arabian employers were working her too hard.

An X-ray film shows nails embedded into the body of Sri Lankan housemaid L T Ariyawathi

An X-ray shows nails embedded in her arm

Just like nearly a million and a half other Sri Lankans, L T Ariyawartha travelled to the Middle East to find work last year.

After five months in Saudi Arabia, the mother of three returned home last week deeply traumatised and unable to tell anyone of her torment.

Her family had no idea she had been tortured until they took her to see a doctor when she complained of pain.

Sri Lankan housemaid L T Ariyawathi who had 24 nails hammered into her in Saudi Arabia

The mark on her forehead where a nail went in can just be seen

A Foreign Employment Bureau official said: "The landlord and the wife of the landlord hammered 24 nails into her when she complained of the heavy workload."

Ms Ariyawathi needed hospital surgery to remove the nails, which she said were hammered in when they were hot.

X-rays showed one to two-inch nails in her hands and legs, and even one over her eyes.

The doctor who treated Ms Ariyawathi said there appeared to be no damage to her internal organs.

The Foreign Employment Bureau is consulting the Attorney-General while the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry is to take the matter up with the Saudi government, officials said.

Around 1.8 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, of whom 70% are women.

Most work as housemaids in the Middle East, while smaller numbers work in Singapore and Hong Kong.

X-ray shows nails in the hand of Sri Lankan housemaid

The nails were forced into her fingers and between them