'Sri Lankan maid was not abused' | world | Hindustan Times
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'Sri Lankan maid was not abused'

world Updated: Sep 01, 2010 18:41 IST

A Saudi official has denied a Sri Lankan maid's allegations that the couple she worked for in the Arab kingdom hammered nails and needles into her body.

Doctors in Sri Lanka have said they removed 13 nails and five needles from L G Ariyawathi after she returned from Saudi Arabia last month. The items had been driven into Ariyawathi's legs and forehead, they said.

But Saad al-Badah, the head of a Saudi government department responsible for foreign workers, told state television Tuesday night that Ariyawathi's allegations were baseless and amounted to blackmail.

"The whole story is baseless," said al-Badah.

"It is nothing but blackmail by Sri Lankan labor firms," he said.

Al-Badah said the companies have rejected new labour regulations and salary ceiling imposed by the Saudi government.

Al-Badah said authorities have received no complaints from neighbors of the Saudi couple to substantiate the allegations.

Abdel-Hadi Abaeri, head of the security department at the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority, said they received no reports of such abuse at the kingdom's airports.

The 49-year-old Ariyawathi has said the family she worked for in Saudi Arabia punished her by heating the nails and needles before sticking them into her. She worked in the kingdom for five months.