Three Indians have been accused ofconfining 19 Filipinas hotel workers inside a villa for over a month, not allowing them to go out even during their free time or holidays.
The three men – 41-year-old electrician SS, 61-year-old supervisor KM and 54-year-old cook KA – who were identified with their initials only, were said to have unlawfully locked up the Filipinas from sunset to sunrise daily in the employees' residence in Al Mutainah.
The trio claimed it was only to protect the women from sexual harassment in the area, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Tuesday.
The men, who are out on bail, pleaded not guilty and firmly denied their accusations, Gulf News reported.
Prosecution records said the 19 Filipinas worked for the hotel as receptionists, housekeepers, cleaners and maids, the report said.
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.
The women said a bus would collect them at 7 am and bring them back at 8 pm when their shift was over.
Prosecutors accused SS, KM and KA of breaching the Filipinas' rights and freedom by locking them up unlawfully for a period of one month.
The trio's lawyer asked the presiding judge to adjourn the case to present his defence when the court reconvenes on November 24.
One of the housekeepers, 30-year-old MN, testified that she had been working for the hotel in Al Muraqqabat for two years.
"I was hired on a 600 dirhams 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. As soon as we returned to the residence, the defendants would lock the doors and prevent us from going out," MN claimed to prosecutors.
"We were forced to agree because we had no other choice and we were forced also to be obedient to earn a living...even during officials holidays we remained confined. During the confinement period, nobody treated us badly," she said.