Hotel workers confined in their residence, banned from going out during free times, holidays
Three men have been accused of confining 19 Filipinas, who worked for a hotel, inside a villa and not allowing them to go out during their free time or holidays.
The three Indian men, S.S., a 41-year-old electrician; K.M., a 61-year-old supervisor; and K.A., a 54-year-old cook, were said have unlawfully locked up the Filipinas from sunset to sunrise daily in the employees’ residence in Al Mutainah.
Prosecution records said the 19 Filipinas worked for the hotel as receptionists, housekeepers, cleaners and maids.
As soon as the women finished work, the trio would lock them inside the villa and keep them confined until the next morning, according to prosecution records.
Prosecutors accused S.S., K.M. and K.A. of breaching the Filipinas’ rights and freedom by locking them up unlawfully for a period of one month.
All the women were present before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Tuesday.
The trio, who are out on bail, pleaded not guilty and firmly denied their accusations,
Their lawyer asked presiding judge Mohammad Jamal to adjourn the case to present his defence when the court reconvenes on November 24.
One of the housekeepers, 30-year-old M.N., testified that she had been working for the hotel in Al Muraqqabat for two years.
“I was hired on a Dh600 salary. Since I started work, the senior workers told me that it was against the hotel’s policy to go out of the residence during free time or after work or on holidays. Our job shift was from 8am to 8pm. As soon as we returned to the residence, the defendants would lock the doors and prevent us from going out.
We were forced to agree because we had no other choice and we were forced also to be obedient to earn a living. However they used to take us out one day a month to go shopping under the supervision of one of the company’s supervisors and we used to be kept under surveillance… even during officials holidays we remained confined. During the confinement period, nobody treated us badly,” M.N. claimed to prosecutors.
A 31-year-old cleaner confirmed M.N.’s statement adding that she and her colleagues were forced to agree to remain confined to make a living. She was hired on a Dh700 salary.
A 28-year-old housekeeper, J.H., claimed that she was hired for Dh1,500 but when she joined work, the salary was reduced to Dh700.
“When I asked why, the management told me that they had to deduct the cost of my plane ticket, visa and Emirates ID,” she added.
Prosecution records cited the defendants admitting that they locked up the women for their own safety and top protect them from being harassed by bachelors who lived in the same area.