Measures to help detained Lankan women in Saudi – Namal

Namal Rajapaksa

Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has assured a solution to Sri Lankan women wrongfully detained in Saudi Arabia.

Responding to a tweet by a journalist, Rajapaksa tweeted saying he will inform the Foreign Ministry and speak to the relevant authorities to see how best they can resolve this matter as fast as they can.

The Amnesty International South Asia highlighted that at least 41 Sri Lankan women migrant workers have been detained in Saudi Arabia for as long as 18 months.

“Three women have young children with them, and one woman is known to be in urgent need of medical care. None of the women have been informed of any charges against them, nor have they been granted any legal support to better understand the length or reason for their detention. Sri Lankan authorities must proactively take measures to ensure their immediate repatriation so that these women are able to return home and reunite with their families,” the Amnesty International said on Thursday.

“The 41 Sri Lankan women migrant domestic workers are currently detained at the Exit 18 Deportation Detention (Tarheel) Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Prison officials have repeatedly promised the women that they will be repatriated imminently in recent months, but they all remain in detention as of April 2021,” the statement said.

“The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh has been in touch with the detained women and has offered multiple reassurances, however it is concerning that no one has yet been repatriated. The Government must ensure that the costs of repatriation, such as airfare and any COVID-related quarantine requirements, are covered as many of the detainees cannot afford them.

The Sri Lankan Government has an obligation to protect the human rights of all of its migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and to work in a timely manner to ensure that these detained workers are released and safely returned to Sri Lanka,” the statement added.

(Source: Daily News)