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Tajik Woman Details Alleged Abuse At Hands Of Saudi Employers

Shamsia Asanalishoeva says physical abuse at the hands of her employers led her to seek help, first from local police and then Tajik diplomats.

Shamsia Asanalishoeva left Tajikistan in the hope of better income and economic opportunities far from home, in Saudi Arabia.

A year later, the 46-year-old is anxious to return home after being rescued from the physical abuse she says she suffered while working as an undocumented employee in a family home on the Persian Gulf state's western coast.

Asanalishoeva, who is now safely in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, acknowledges that she overstayed her tourist visa. The former telejournalist found a job as a domestic worker through a Saudi employment agency in 2016 and was working without the proper documentation.

Asanalishoeva says she took a job as a house cleaner for a Saudi family in the port city of Jeddah, and received a monthly salary of 1,500 riyals (about $400). But she says she soon realized her job was to be a full-time "servant, nanny, and cook."

"They tell you that you're being hired for cleaning only, but...they make you do everything: look after children, all the housework and cooking," she says. "It's like a living hell."

Read the full story on RFE/RL

Written by Farangis Najibullah, with reporting by RFE/RL's Tajik Service correspondent Tohir Safarov

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