Kim Kardashian had only just touched down in the Kingdom of Bahrain before declaring it the prettiest place on earth...
...Of course, that was before police reportedly fired tear gas to disperse 50 or so angry protesters demonstrating against Kardashian’s visit to the country to promote her Millions of Milkshakes shop.
I wonder if Ms. Kardashian is aware that slavery -- yes, slavery -- is still alive and well in Bahrain:
Scars of severe beating were clear on the chest and shoulders of Salma Bijoum, three months after she fled the home of her abusive employer. Now, the domestic helper is waiting for a court decision to be able to return to her family in Haidarabad.
Bijoum, 35, tasted all kinds of cruel treatment and humiliation at the hands of her employer’s wife during her 45-day stay. She was beaten and kicked on regular basis for no obvious reason. She was beaten for not cleaning the house well, for sitting on the carpet and for drinking cold water. She neither got adequate meals nor a salary. Then came the day she decided to run away: she was asked to sweep the floor using a broom but she could not as her arms had become so swollen from beating. When she declined, the lady of the house beat her with an iron rod. She bled.
The case of Bijoum is not rare in a country where many employers violate the human rights of their domestic helpers. Abuse includes bad language, deprivation from basic requirements like proper accommodation, meals, rest time and monthly wages. Others are insulted, beaten, sexually harassed and raped, according to statements by domestic workers and police records.
Foreign domestic workers in Bahrain represent 4.2% of Bahrain's total population of 1.1 million people. They live in closed houses, making it nearly impossible to penetrate these places to see how they live, or whether they get their full legal rights...
When Bijoum escaped her employer's residence screaming for help, the driver of a labor transport vehicle took her to a police station.
Bijoum is considered lucky. Sings of abuse and torture have to be fresh and clear to constitute evidence of torture. Moreover, the driver who dropped her off at the police station, called a journalist who published a story on her plight. This gave her case publicity, which in turn generated public pressure.
“We should work according to our employer’s will, whenever he so wishes, without a day off," said Bijoum. "This is the slavery of the Third Millennium.”
I wonder how pretty Bahrain is from the perspective of a slave?