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Philippines protest as Kuwait "rescues" envoy from maid



  The Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa to reporters in Kuwait (April 21, 2018)

image copyright
AFP

Caption

The Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa was declared persona non grata by Kuwait

The Philippines has demanded an explanation for Kuwait's decision to expel its ambassador in a dispute over the treatment of domestic workers.

The two nations have been trying to resolve the dispute since February, when the body of a murdered Filipino maid was discovered in Kuwait

. But last week, videos surfaced showing embassy officials claiming to be Filipinos Employers were abused.

Kuwait condemned the "violation of his laws" and told the ambassador to leave.

Four Filipinos According to the Philippines, arrest warrants detained by the Kuwaiti police were also arrested against three diplomatic workers.

About 260,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, two thirds of them as domestic workers.

  • Couple detained in Kuwait Frozen maids case
  • Philippines stop workers to go to Kuwait

Last Saturday, the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs released two video clips intended to show embassy teams in K uwait "saving" the Philippine domestic worker. In one you see a woman running out of a block of flats and being taken by a man into a waiting car.

On Wednesday, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry announced that it had declared the Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa persona non grata and asked him to leave the country within a week.

One statement accused the Philippine embassy and others of "smuggling Filipino" maids in flagrant violation of Kuwaiti law and international diplomatic rules. "He also pledged to" hunt down "those responsible and bring them to justice.

The Philippines apologized, but emphasized that the embassy "responded to calls for help from distressed Filipino nationals."

The Philippine Foreign Ministry said it had given the Embassy of Kuwait in Manila a diplomatic note that "surprised him greatly his great displeasure "about the expulsion of Mr. Villa and the imprisonment of the four Filipinos charged by the embassy.

The Ministry called Kuwait Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh protested, but was informed by the embassy that he had been recalled for consultations.

Image copyright [1

9659003] Reuters

Caption

The body of Joanna Demafelis was reported missing more than a year after her was discovered

The ministry said Althwaikh assured Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday that Mr. Villa was welcome to stay in Kuwait until the end of his service, and that the embassy officials arrested were released from custody.

the ambassador had also promised:

  • Facilitate the repatriation of more than 800 Filipinos seeking refuge in Kuwaiti shelters in the Philippine embassy
  • Humanitarian treatment of all Filipinos who were arrested on Sunday after the expiration of an amnesty amnesty Visa
  • Ensuring justice for pending and future cases of Filipinos who were victims of severe ill-treatment

In February, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Filipinos working in Kuwait to return home after finding the body of Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis in a freezer was found in an abandoned apartment, more than a year after she was reported missing.

Her employers, the Lebanese citizen Nader Essam Assaf and his Syrian wife Mona, were sentenced to death in their absence for murder. Mr. Assaf is being detained in Lebanon while Ms. Assaf is being held in Syria, where the couple has been arrested.


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