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UAE: Emirati officer accused of human trafficking in Rhode Island

Rahma-press An Emirati military officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Rhode Island on human trafficking and other charges after the officer allegedly took a Filipino woman working as a maid for him and his family to the United States and then kept her there under slave-like conditions.

Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali, 46, who is currently enrolled in a one-year program at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, is accused of taking the woman's passport, forcing her to work long hours without pay and forbidding her from talking to anyone outside the family or attending religious services, the Providence Journal reported Wednesday

Al-Ali is also accused of providing authorities with false documents in an attempt to prove he paid the woman $19,000 in wages, which were allegedly never transferred to her. Al-Ali pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. The woman, who ran away in October, is reportedly in hiding.

Human rights organizations have long been critical of the treatment of Asian and African domestic workers employed in Arab countries, and sadly, stories like the one that allegedly took place in Rhode Island are not uncommon in the region.

According to the Journal's report, Al-Ali had hired her through a company based in the United Arab Emirates, which has been singled out for its poor treatment of foreign workers. The situation in the region is so bad that the government of the Philippines has already banned its citizens from going to certain Arab countries to work as maids and nannies.

Several local initiatives have been launched over the years to raise awareness regarding domestic worker abuse in Arab countries. In 2008, a high-profile media campaign titled "rahma" or "mercy", aimed at Saudi citizens, sparked controversy with a series of shocking print and television advertisements featuring foreign drivers and maids wearing dog collars and horse bridles with the tagline "don't deny me my humanity."

--Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: An ad for the "rahma" campaign features a maid being treated like an animal and reads "don't deny me my humanity". Credit: Rahma campaign via migrant-rights.org

Comments () | Archives (10)

prashant, obviously you don't know what you are talking about.
The number one trafficker of women in the middle-east is israel. go look it up.

manuel escott , before you start down the road of "koranic injunctins " need I remind you of the UN report documenting women trafficking in israel for sex trade. I don't should we then start attacking the Torah?

ITS A DOCUMENTED FACT THAT IN THE ARAB WORLD, HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS ACCEPTED AND TOLERATED. MANY OF THESE SAME COUNTRIES LIKE SAUDIA ARABIA WHO ARE OUR ALLIES, EXCUSE THE FACT THAT SINCE THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT MUSLIMS, AND FOR THAT REASON, THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS.
AS FAR AS THE SAD SITUATION IN RI, IM NOT SURPRISED. THE GOVT DOESNT NECESSARILY GO AFTER THESE PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY UNLESS IT VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL LAWS INCLUDING THE US 13TH AND 14TH AMMENDMENTS REGARDING SLAVERY.

how does the lengthily-documented treatment of african and asian domestic staff by muslims square with the koranic injunctins of justice , compassion and mercy?

Tragedy of human trafficking is thousand of young boys and girls are trafficked every year I would like to share one documentary about the same issue. "The Dark Side of Chocolate" is a journalistic documentary which reveals the hideous truth behind the manufacturing of German and international chocolate, as sold and enjoyed in Germany and the rest of the world.

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/4809

You'll notice that a clear majority of modern-day slaves in the Arab Muslim world are WOMEN & GIRLS...not a coincidence.

That is because of the well-documented fact that Islam oppresses, abuses & brutalizes women in a way NO OTHER 21st-century global belief system even comes close to matching

Enough said...that is some religion they follow--Allah be praised--uh-huh!

THE MAID CAME TO THE STATES BY HER WILL, SHE WAS DREAMING TO COME ,ALL EXPENSES PAID FROM THE TICKET TO THE VISA. SHE IS LOOKING FOR AMONEY NOTHING ELSE,
SHE IS BLACKMAILING THE OFFICER ,AND SHE SHOULD BE TRAILED FOR THIS . I DO TRUST THE AMERICAN JASTICE TO FIGER IT OUT EASLY.

UAE refuses to renew passports of children of women married to foreigners rendering them stateless.stop gender inequality. Women should no be punished for their own chices, especially regarding marriage. Just like a man can marry a foreign woman and pass his uae citizenship to his wife and children" women at least should be able to pass citizenship to their children

As an American citizen originally from the Philippines, I would support a judicial order permanently banning this Emirati officer from setting foot in the United States ever again upon his conviction of the federal charges against him. The horrendous treatment of migrant workers from Southeast Asia in the hands of Arab employers is well-known. Many of them are treated like animals and sometimes killed when they could not meet the criminal expectations of their employers.


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