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Sheikha Fawzia Salem Al-Sabah
‘Abused women must report offenses’ Sheikha pledges to pursue Filipina’s case

KUWAIT CITY, June 11: “We fought for her. We won and we’re very happy of the court’s decision on her case,” disclosed Kuwaiti human rights lawyer Sheikha Fawzia Salem Al-Sabah after the Kuwait Court of First Instance sentenced to death by hanging a lance corporal at the General Traffic Department for raping a Filipina and attempting to kill her by stabbing her in the neck several times and leaving her almost dead in the desert on Oct 1, 2012.

Sheikha Fawzia who volunteered to represent Marissa (not her real name) pro bono as her legal counsel was elated on the court’s verdict. “I wish her good health and strength so she can continue fighting for her case. I wish that she can finally smile after what had happened to her.

The verdict only shows that the Kuwait judicial system is fair regardless of race,” she stressed. Marissa was deployed to Kuwait on Sept 12, 2006 to work as a Household Service Worker for three years and later on at a dress shop in Farwaniya. Based on her account, in late evening of Sept 30, she and her female friend came out from a mall along the sixth ring road.

They were inside a cab on their way home to Farwaniya when they were stopped by the suspect who alighted from the police car.

Unfortunately, her residence visa had just expired four days ago and it’s still being renewed by her new sponsor. The suspect let her friend get away as she still has a valid visa while she was taken by the suspect to the police car.

The suspect instead of taking her to the police station, drove her to a dark deserted place in South Surra where he allegedly raped her inside the police patrol car and stabbed her with a Swiss knife in the neck and back. She was left bleeding and almost dead along the road.

Marissa was confined at the Intensive Care Unit for two days at the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital. “We will continue to fight for her case even in the higher court so justice will be served,” assured Sheikha Fawzia. She urged all victims especially women who are victims of physical and sexual abuse not to be afraid to come forward and file a case against their attackers. She reiterated that Kuwait does not condone heinous crimes.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy also expressed its sincerest gratitude to Sheikha Fawzia for her legal assistance to Marissa. “We attribute the victory on Marissa’s case to Sheikha Fawzia and we thank her for that.

Together with Sheikha Fawzia, the embassy will be here to support Marissa,” stated Philippine Consul General Atty Raul H Dado. Marissa is temporarily staying at the Filipino Workers Resource Centre (FWRC) in Faiha. “I would like to thank Sheikha Fawzia for everything, for all the help that she has extended to me,” stated Marissa who vowed to fight for her case even if the suspect appeals the court’s verdict before the Court of Appeals.

By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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