Bangladeshi woman looking for work repeatedly raped in Kuala Lumpur

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The dangers for woman looking for work and economic opportunities can turn hazardous if they begin looking in all the wrong places.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported the horrendous ordeal of a Bangladeshi woman who escaped the clutches of human traffickers under whom she was sexually abused at least 20 times following her arrival in Malaysia just 11 days before.

The Daily Star reported today that the young woman, Bithi (not her real name), had alleged that she was repeatedly sexually abused from the day after her arrival on Jan 18.

Bithi, who was a garment factory worker in Mirpur came to Malaysia after being promised with a better job that came with a salary of Tk20,000 (Bangladesh Taka), which is equivalent to RM1,115.

Her mother had also sold jewellery and land the family owned to come up with the Tk150,000 migration cost that the two brokers who offered the job had demanded from Bithi’s family, the woman told the Bangladesh daily.

According to the facts of the case, Bithi left Dhaka for Kuala Lumpur on Jan 18, and in the early hours of the following day, was taken to a hotel. Later the same day, she was shifted to a house where she met a foreigner and three Bangladeshi men, who were the human traffickers. According to Daily Star, she was then forced to have sex with them throughout the night.

Bithi also alleged that one of the traffickers took a video of her having sex with the other two men.
Her chance for escape came when she fell sick and was taken to a clinic on Jan 24 by one of the traffickers.
The Daily Star reported Bithi as saying that the man asked her to say she was his wife, but she screamed instead and created a scene, causing the trafficker to flee.

Bithi managed to find shelter and eventually managed to call her husband back in Bangladesh. Her family members contacted a Bangladesh legal aid and human rights organisation, Ain Salish Kendra (ASK) and they in turn contacted Mohammad Harun al-Rashid, a Bangladeshi labour rights activist working with Tenaganita, and sent him copies of Bithi’s passport, photo and the contact number. Harun was able to trace Bithi’s location and took her to a shelter centre run by Tenaganita, a migrants rights organisation.

With Tenaganita’s help, she was given financial support to obtain a ticket back to Bangladesh. What the report never mentioned was if Malaysia only works with accredited employment agents or agencies and if the Bangladesh High Commission itself, had instituted such rulings?