90% Mental Patients in Saudi Hospitals are Ethiopian Maids: Arab News

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Nearly 160,000 Ethiopian women went to Saudi Arabia in the 12 months to be House maids
Nearly 160,000 Ethiopian women went to Saudi Arabia in the 12 months ending July 7 to be House maids (Bloomberg)

By Arab News,

An Ethiopian housemaid committed suicide at the women’s ward of the Abyar Ali Penitentiary in Madinah on Friday.

The domestic worker had been in prison since the end of August, a local daily reported Saturday.

“The 23-year-old inmate was found hanging by her head scarf at about 8 a.m. She was immediately taken down and rushed to the nearby Meeqat Hospital, but the doctors there declared her dead on arrival,” said a source at the provincial prison directorate.

The woman, who arrived in the Kingdom as a housemaid, was sent to prison on charges of stabbing her female employer.

She was arrested a month ago after reportedly stabbing Gheelah, her octogenarian employer. Aziziah police handed her over to Aqiq police after her relatives identified her, Col. Fahd Al-Ghannam, spokesman for Madinah police, said in a statement shortly after her arrest. The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution then took over the case.

Ahmad Al-Ahmadi, the victim’s son, said he knew nothing about the motive of the maid’s near-fatal attack on his mother, who used to treat her well.

The younger son of the elderly woman added that the maid’s attack was shocking and unexpected because she showed good conduct and had not manifested any signs of violent behavior or mental imbalance in the past.

Investigators could not obtain information from the maid because she refused to speak during the interrogation to reveal the motives for her attack.

Suhail Khan, director of a hospital for the mentally unstable in Jeddah, said 90 percent of female patients at his hospital were Ethiopian and that one patient a day on average is admitted. The doctor added that most cases were complicated and hard to deal with. The cases included serious psychological disturbances and schizophrenia.
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