Foreign worker allegedly enslaved by east J'lem couple

Couple indicted on suspicion of forcing Filipino woman to work 15 hours a day without pay, live in bathroom before escaping after 22 months.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 8, 2010 12:25
1 minute read.
An abused woman.

abuse_311. (photo credit: Courtesy (illustrative).)

A Filippino woman worked under conditions of slavery for 22 months at a Jerusalem couple's home, according to an indictment filed Monday morning against the couple.

The couple hardly let the woman leave the house and ordered her to work 15 hours a day, and even longer, the indictment alleged.

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The indictment, filed against Ibrahim and Basma Julani, stated that the foreign worker came to Jordan in 2007 to work in the house of the accused couple's daughter. She worked from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for four months without pay.

In November 2007, Basma brought the worker to her home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat to work as a house maid. During her time there, the woman lived in the bathroom of the house, where she was given a cot and a shelf on which to put her belongings. There she also worked from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., but when the couple had guests she worked longer.

The couple allowed her to take only two short breaks to eat, and she worked in their home seven days a week without receiving any days off.

According to the indictment, the family locked the worker in the house when no one else was home, and prevented her from having access to the key.

In December 2008, the family reportedly traveled to Eilat for a week and left the worker locked in the house.

Eventually, in September 2009, the worker was able to connect with other foreign workers from the Philippines in Jerusalem, and with their help, she was able to escape the couple's home.

The couple is accused of enslavement and withholding the woman's passport.


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