South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Penniless in Saudi Arabia, Chutuk Bahadur Tamang of Sindhupalchowk is languishing in a jail in the foreign land since Mar 23 after his employer betrayed him, his family members have said.

Tamang, who had been working as a trailer driver for Abdullah AM Al-Khodari Sons Co for two years, reportedly caused damage to a car on Dec 1, 2010 accidentally while driving the company’s trailer.

As the company did not pay the compensation amount to the vehicle owner as agreed, Saudi police took Tamang into custody, who was eventually sent to the Saudi Arabian central jail.

It has been learnt, from Tamang’s family in Kathmandu, that the compensation demanded by the car owner is 25,000 Riyal, equivalent to Rs 500,000.

“The amount is high and we are unable to pay it. As the company betrayed us, my husband has been left helpless in the foreign land,” said Kanchhi Dolma Lama. “Last time we talked over phone, he said he is kept under extreme conditions in the prison. There is no proper provision for food and rest.”

Pleading for immediate help, the Tamang family on Thursday appealed to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Kathmandu via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Saudi Arabian embassy in Nepal and Nepali embassy in Saudi Arabia are requested to coordinate for rescuing Tamang from the situation he has been thrown into due to the company’s betrayal,” read the application.

As per the contract, the company would pay Tamang 800 Riyal per month for eight hours of work a day. The company would also provide for daily travel to and from the office, food and accommodation and airfare to Nepal.

Tamang was in Nepal in October last year for Dashain. “He returned after staying home for a month. He was here on completion of his two years of work in Saudi,” she said.

Source: The Kathmandu Post – 16.06.2011