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Domestic worker’s death prompts new investigation

Larnaca household employers to be investigated for human rights violations following Indian woman’s death


The Supreme Court has ruled that the case of a foreign domestic worker’s death is to be forwarded to the state attorney, after striking down a judicial review request by her employers who sought to block a court-ordered human rights investigation.

According to daily Politis, a 23-year-old woman from India was killed in August 2015 when she fell from the fifth floor of her Larnaca building, where she lived and worked for a Greek Cypriot couple. Following an inquest before the Larnaca District Court in September 2017, foul play was ruled out but the death investigator left the door open for possible human rights violations.

Based on information from KISA, a human rights advocate group that was cited as a source in the story, the young woman had been denied the right to leave the house on her day off, Sunday 2 August 2015, but the reasons were not specified. A KISA article posted online on 6 August 2015 alleged that “the employers were holding her passport and had arranged with her employment agent to send her back to India the following day.”

The case was referred to state attorney to examine violations of human rights allegations but the employers filed a petition to block the investigation

Attempts by other Indian nationals to talk to the woman and convince her employers to let her come out of the apartment were unsuccessful, according to reports, until she was later found to have fallen to her death from the fifth floor.

Two years later, a Larnaca district judge instructed the case file be forwarded to the state attorney’s office in order to ascertain whether allegations of human rights violations would warrant further investigation.

But the employers filed a petition for certiorari to block the investigation into possible human rights offences, until the Supreme Court recently dismissed their motion citing lack of sufficient basis.

A civil lawsuit was then filed with the Supreme Court once again dismissing the couple’s claim on 16 July 2019.

The investigation is expected to move forward, while KISA has alleged that the couple had to replace their domestic help a number of times due to “harsh conditions and humiliating treatment by the employers” towards the workers.

Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  India  |  domestic worker  |  housemaid  |  employer  |  death  |  police  |  human rights  |  Supreme Court  |  visa  |  passport

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