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Is the Saudi media siding with diplomat accused of rape?

Kunal Majumder | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 7:28 IST

On 8 September, Gurgaon police booked an unnamed Saudi diplomat for rape and wrongful confinement of two Nepalese women. A 44-year-old woman and her 20-year-old daughter were hired by the diplomat's family as domestic helps. The women have alleged that they were beaten up, denied food, confined to the house, and raped by the diplomat and his guests on multiple occasions.

 

No arrests have been made so far in the case. The diplomat has reportedly left the country, while the Saudi Embassy has publicly denied the allegations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs feels it needs to analyse the matter, and has sought a report from the police.

 

In Saudi Arabia, the media has joined the embassy in denying the charges. Two English newspapers in the country, Arab News and the Saudi Gazette, have published statements of the Saudi ambassador accusing India of wrongdoing.

 

Referring to a report in the Arabic daily Al Watan, the Saudi Gazette reported:-

 

Indian policemen barge into Saudi diplomat's home


A group of Indian policemen barged into a Saudi diplomat's house in Gurgaon near New Delhi and reportedly assaulted his family on Monday on the claim that the Saudi family was holding two housemaids hostage.


Saudi Ambassador to India Muhammad Al-Sati said the diplomat was a Saudi Embassy employee and the policemen's claim about the two maids was untrue. "The policemen assaulted his wife and his 19-year-old daughter. The Embassy condemns such an act. We have already contacted the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the head of Gurgaon Police," said Al-Sati.

 

An Arab News report talked about the Vienna Convention and made the entire matter appear as though the Indian media indulged in overplaying the case.

 

Flayed: Raid on KSA diplomat's home in India


According to reports in Indian media, the two Nepalese women named in the case were working as maids at the diplomat's house. Police have registered a case of rape and illegal confinement against the Saudi official, although he has not been named in the complaint.


The embassy protested to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over "police intrusion" into a diplomat's house in violation of "all diplomatic conventions."


The Saudi Embassy also expressed concerns over the way the police stormed the house of the diplomat - first secretary at the embassy - and beat his family members, including his wife and 19-year-old daughter, under the pretext that the family was holding two housemaids hostage.



The report concludes by recounting certain Articles of the Vienna Convention that ensure immunity to diplomats.

First published: 14 February 2017, 7:28 IST
 
Kunal Majumder @kunalmajumder

Editor for Speed News aka Catch Live and Operations at Catch, Kunal enjoys measuring his life in numbers. Of his 30 years of life, 12 have been spent working, 9 of them in journalism. The remaining 3 were spent in 2 call centres, talking to British and Australians about insurance and cellphones. In his journalistic capacity, Kunal has worked at 3 publications and headed 2 online teams. The '3' includes Images Multimedia, Tehelka and DNA. The '2' includes Tehelka and DNA. Catch is Kunal's 6th workplace, where he will head his 3rd team as speed news editor. As a reporter, he won 2 awards - Statesman Award for Rural Reporting and UNFPA-Laadli Award for Gender Sensitivity. That's his story in Prime Numbers (a section on this site from which he's taken inspiration).

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