The following is a statement from the Network of Sikh Organisations;
Our Director has written to the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in London to ask for clemency in the case of a Filipino domestic worker who faces execution in Abu Dhabi next week.
30-year-old mother of two Jennifer Dalquez (pictured right) who moved to the UAE to provide for her family says she was fighting off rape when she killed her employer. Currently in prison, Dalquez maintains that she was attacked in the home in which she worked back in December 2014.
Under sharia law, she now faces execution or paying $50,000 in diya or ‘blood money’ to the family of the deceased. Her appeal will be heard on Monday 27 March in an Abu Dhabi court.
In the letter sent to His Excellency Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui yesterday, Lord Singh writes:
“It is clear from the evidence that her action was not pre-meditated, but a desperate response to an unprovoked sexual attack.”
He went on: “I am writing to you to use your good offices to remove the threat of the death penalty and for the authorities to show due clemency.”
Justice For Domestic Workers (J4DW), a group run for the well being of migrant workers has been leading a campaign for Dalquez’s release and repatriation back to her family in the Philippines.
J4DW Coordinator Marissa Begonia said, “It is sad that in our modern world, migrant domestic workers are still the most abused and exploited group of workers because of the absence of labour rights and human rights in many countries like the UAE.”
Begonia was clearly moved by the circumstances in the case, having made a special trip to General Santos city in the Philippines to meet Dalquez’s family. J4DW is now collaborating with human rights organisation Justice Upheld who have highlighted their concerns with the United Nations.
Lawyer and human rights activist Jas Uppal from Justice Upheld said, “Jennifer Dalquez is yet another victim of gross inhumane abuse and injustice faced by migrants in the Gulf states. Her plea in mitigation of self defense as she resisted and fought off her assailant when he attempted to rape her at knife point has been disregarded.”
She went on: “It is imperative that the Emirati authorities acknowledge and recognise Jennifer’s human rights. To kill her for defending herself is barbaric. We at Justice Upheld urge the Emirate authorities to demonstrate mercy and have made urgent representations to the UN’s Human Rights Council.”
Former Minister of State and MP for Slough Fiona Mactaggart, has tabled a Foreign Office question and has forwarded details of Dalquez’s case to the APPG on Human Rights.
Campaigners will be assembling outside the UAE Embassy tomorrow between 10:30-12:30 for a peaceful protest requesting Dalquez’s immediate release.[Ends]
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