Saudi diplomat accused of rape withdrawn from India

Published September 17, 2015
The Nepali women were rescued from the diplomat's apartment last week after a tip off from a human trafficking group and the Nepalese embassy. — AFP/File
The Nepali women were rescued from the diplomat's apartment last week after a tip off from a human trafficking group and the Nepalese embassy. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia has withdrawn the diplomat accused of repeatedly raping and torturing two Nepali maids working at his home near New Delhi, ending an awkward diplomatic incident for India.

The case had caught India between Saudi Arabia, one of its largest oil suppliers, and Nepal, a small neighbour where it is battling with China for influence.

India took the unusual step of naming the diplomat Majed Hassan Ashoor, the first secretary at the Saudi embassy, in a statement late on Wednesday announcing his departure.

Read: Two Nepali maids alleging rape by Saudi diplomat return home

The statement said Ashoor was protected under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which grants diplomats immunity from arrest, criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when they are posted overseas.

The incident posed a challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is due to make a rare visit to Saudi Arabia later this year.

At the same time he has made improving relations with neighbouring Nepal, one of his top foreign policy priorities.

The Nepali women were rescued from the diplomat's apartment last week after a tip off from a human trafficking group and the Nepalese embassy.

The women told police they were gang raped, assaulted and denied water and food while being captive for several months. The women said they were raped by eight men on one occasion.

Both women came from remote rural parts of Nepal and were sent to Saudi Arabia as domestic servants by human traffickers before returning to New Delhi with their employer.

The Saudi Embassy did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment. In an earlier statement, the embassy said the allegations were false.

A police officer involved in the case said he is confident they will be able to track the other accused men because they have CCTV from the entrance of the apartment and will be able to track their mobile phones.

Also read: Indian police investigate accusation Saudi official raped Nepali maids

Opinion

The risk of escalation

The risk of escalation

The silence of the US and some other Western countries over the raid on the Iranian consulate has only provided impunity to the Zionist state.

Editorial

Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...
Tough talks
Updated 16 Apr, 2024

Tough talks

The key to unlocking fresh IMF funds lies in convincing the lender that Pakistan is now ready to undertake real reforms.
Caught unawares
Updated 16 Apr, 2024

Caught unawares

The government must prioritise the upgrading of infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.
Going off track
16 Apr, 2024

Going off track

LIKE many other state-owned enterprises in the country, Pakistan Railways is unable to deliver, while haemorrhaging...