MANILA, Philippines – Human Rights Watch (HRW) hit on Friday, April 27, Kuwait’s arrest of staff members of the Philippine embassy over rescue operations involving allegedly abused overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
"Kuwait’s recent arrests of two apparent Philippines embassy staff members for helping domestic workers escape an abusive is outrageous,” Rothna Begum, a Middle East women’s rights researcher for HRW said in a statement.
According to Begum, Kuwaiti authorities "should not be punishing them for helping domestic workers in danger.” Instead, Begum said Kuwait should be working with the Philippine embassy to help investigate and rescue distressed workers.
What has happened. State-run Kuwait News Agency earlier said Kuwait arrested two Filipinos for allegedly urging Filipino maids to escape from their employers.
But the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Thursday, April 26, that Kuwait has issued arrest warrants against 3 Filipino diplomats, while 4 of the embassy's Filipino hires remain in detention.
In a statement on Thursday, April 26, the DFA said Kuwait's action is "deeply disturbing.”
Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.