Saudi diplomat accused of raping 2 maids leaves India
A senior Saudi diplomat who is said to have held captive and raped two Nepalese women in his home in India has used his diplomatic immunity to leave the Asian country.
Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said in a statement released on Wednesday night that the diplomat, identified as Majed Hassan Ashoor, “allegedly accused of abusing 2 Nepali maids, has left India.”
The accused diplomat is said to be protected by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The Nepalese women, aged 50 and 30, were rescued from the diplomat’s residence in the city of Gurgaon, south of the capital, New Delhi, following a police raid on September 7. One of the victims said they were rescued after another maid found out what was going on in the apartment, managed to leave the house a few days later and informed police.
The two alleged that they had been held captive in the luxury apartment, had been denied food, beaten and repeatedly raped by up to seven men. Police then launched an investigation against Ashoor for “rape, sodomy and illegal confinement.”
However, the probe was stalled as police could not question Ashoor due to his diplomatic status. He reportedly moved with his family into the Saudi embassy in the Indian capital, which is beyond the jurisdiction of the host country.
The situation forced officers to ask for the Indian Foreign Ministry’s help in order to get access to the diplomat; the ministry, in turn, called the Saudi envoy to seek his cooperation in the investigation.
Dismissing the allegations against the diplomat, the Saudi embassy said it “strongly stresses that these allegations are false and have not been proven.”
The victims said they had been hired as domestic maids, claiming that the Saudi diplomat jailed them for months before they were rescued.