"In my heart, I don’t have the expectation that I would go back to my family. In the village, there is lots of gossip," said one of the two Nepali women who were allegedly raped and abused repeatedly by a Saudi diplomat in India, as she opened up to Amnesty International India (AII), narrating her brutal experience.
"While we are walking on the road, people will talk about us. We can’t face any of this, we are both thinking of a place where we can both spend our lives together. The only thing I want is justice and for them to be put in jail," she added.
On September 9 this year, the residence of a Saudi diplomat living in Gurgaon was raided by the Haryana Police and the two women were rescued.
The women worked as domestic helps with the Saudi diplomat's family and were raped and tortured for several months allegedly by the diplomat and his friends.Though the diplomat had been booked for rape, no action was taken against him by the Indian police since he was protected from prosecution under diplomatic immunity. He left India for Saudi Arabia on September 16.
Amnesty International India has now launched a campaign, in which they have petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding justice for the two Nepali women and if required, even extradite the suspects.
"Diplomatic immunity must not lead to impunity for human rights abuses," said Bashi, Women’s Rights Campaigner at Amnesty International India. "Authorities in India must promptly investigate the allegations, charge those suspected and seek their extradition from Saudi Arabia for prosecution, if required. The Saudi Arabian government, on its part, must not use the shield of diplomatic immunity to protect anyone, and must extradite suspects to India, if the need arises."
Both the survivors are currently staying at a shelter home in Kathmandu and receiving psychological counselling. One of them told Amnesty International Nepal, "For me, the sooner I get justice the better. Three countries are involved in this. We have faced so many problems and we struggled a lot, and we need justice…Arrest whoever is involved…It is like a nightmare for us."
The two survivors had reportedly been lured to Delhi with the promise of well-paid jobs and then allegedly sold to the Saudi diplomat. They were then tortured and raped over the course of several months allegedly by the diplomat and his friends.
Medical examination of the victims, who had been hired as domestic helps at the diplomat's house, showed that "the women have been so grievously tortured that it will take years to recover," a senior official at the Gurgaon civil hospital had told The Indian Express.
A senior official handling the case had told The Hindu that "There is prima facie evidence of abuse, sodomy and rape by the diplomat and his father-in-law."