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    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/17/ny...cnd-slave.html


    http://archive.longislandpress.com/2...-slave-couple/

    This case occurred on my native Long Island (NY) so I read several different media articles on it during 2007-08.


    The woman/wife/tormentor was an ethnic Indian raised in Jakarta, which is why they recruited maids from there. She's still in jail.


    There are many interesting aspects of this case, including the perps' complaint "we played by the rules" even though it is illegal to lock up a person's passport in US, and especially illegal to harbor someone who is overstaying their visa and working for you on the wrong visa.


    Most media in US, however, portrayed it as a class/economic dichotomy, ignoring the aspect of Asians being prejudiced against other Asians.

    When I mentioned this case to some ethnic Indians in US and elsewhere a few years ago, their response was usually, "Oh, but they are Sindhis" as if that ethnic categorization of the perps explained everything. Wikipedia notes on the "Sindhi people" page that they are one of the main ethnic groups in Pakistan and that the Dravidian ethnic group Haris are held in low esteem there, living in "slave-like conditions".

    Anybody have insights on the emotions, finances, and prejudices involved in this story?

  • #2
    I like to read the court decision than the papers. http://www.leagle.com/decision/in%20fco%2020100325000t This case is similar to: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/politi...mat/index.html They only agreed to pay her $200 a month from the beginning. Criminals from the start. Not hard for a jury to convict. The couple owned a multi million dollar business. There is no way they did not know U.S. labor laws. They falsified the documents to even bring the women to the U.S. "Varsha told Samirah that her $200 per month salary was being paid to her daughter Lita in Indonesia. Lita was in fact paid only $100 per month. Samirah received no money herself." There are many witnesses mentioned in the decision. There was a lot of evidence entered against them. Pictures, letters, witnesses. The children knew about and may even have participated in the abuse. Sick people.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by martindo View Post
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/17/ny...cnd-slave.htmlhttp://archive.longislandpress.com/2...-slave-couple/ When I mentioned this case to some ethnic Indians in US and elsewhere a few years ago, their response was usually, "Oh, but they are Sindhis" as if that ethnic categorization of the perps explained everything. Wikipedia notes on the "Sindhi people" page that they are one of the main ethnic groups in Pakistan and that the Dravidian ethnic group Haris are held in low esteem there, living in "slave-like conditions".
      I met an Indonesian born Sindhi a few years ago. They are a fairly small community in Indonesia but like to marry within the group. The lady in question ended up being shipped off to Sri Lanka courtesy of an arranged marriage and now lives there.
      "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
      George Bernard Shaw

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      • #4
        I checked the docket. For one of the most famous cases in the N.Y. area, they didn't hire any well known top notch lawyers, and they could afford it. Almost no defense was given. They did not even have the teenage children testify. That is guilt enough for me right there. Not uncommon for people to distance themselves from anyone that would commit such attrocities.

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        • #5
          The docket says fairly clearly that one of the children was an Unindicted Conspirator (UC), specifically part of the incident where they photographed one maid holding a carton of milk in front of the fridge. This photo was so incomprehensible to Americans that it alerted NY detectives to probe the reason for it. It was intended by the "majikan" to be "evidence" of why the maid was fired if she ever "stole" milk from the family again. That piece of narrative was in another article, published around the time of the original arrest or trial.

          The stinginess and pettiness probably did as much to damn the family as the numerous claims of scratching with fingernails, slicing with a knife, pouring boiling water on skin, forcing to eat own vomit, etc. detailed in the docket. I suppose CSI is good enough these days to determine that most or all of these injuries were not self-inflicted, thus actual evidence.

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          • #6
            Cases of people abusing their domestic workers are not unheard of in Indonesia. It is infuriating, but not earth-shattering to me. Just because these people moved to USA it doesn't mean they automatically shed the sick mindset. Now they're facing 40 years in prison for doing things they never think as wrong, let alone criminal. I can't help but feel a little schadenfreude, as they must be completely devastated to hear that they're going to spend the rest of their lives in jail.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nimbus View Post
              Now they're facing 40 years in prison for doing things they never think as wrong, let alone criminal. I can't help but feel a little schadenfreude, as they must be completely devastated to hear that they're going to spend the rest of their lives in jail.
              Good fuck them all, throw away the key.Since when does having more money or a higher social status entitle anyone to treat another human being in this manner ??These people are disgusting animals and and indicative of everything that is wrong with the mindset of (some of) the rich upper classes, they need to feel the full force of the law.

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              • #8
                I have no sympathy for the perps. The husband got 3 years, simply for shuttling around the maids who were occasionally contracted out to neighbors (also an infringement of visa status). The wife got 11 years, not 40. US law is very strict in terms of human trafficking, forced "peonage" (slavery) -- vehicles used for the crime can be confiscated, house can be confiscated (both similar to drug dealing as a reason to confiscate property).

                What bothers me, though, is that other people remarked "not that unusual in US" but few cases have come to light there. Also, the fake "rainbow coalition" kumbaya is drowned out by Asians treating other Asians like dirt. Here in Indonesia, TV still dares to air Saudi abuse cases (Muslim against fellow Muslim) about once a year.

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                • #9
                  Here's a more prominent case, but this time the perp was literally above the (U.S.) law:
                  http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/politi...html?c=&page=1

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nimbus View Post
                    Here's a more prominent case, but this time the perp was literally above the (U.S.) law:
                    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/politi...html?c=&page=1
                    ---Khobragade "did not make any false statements and she paid her domestic worker what she was entitled to be paid," [her lawyer] said.---

                    What does "entitled" mean? She forced the maid to sign a second contract at 1/3 of US minimum wage.

                    Other shocks:

                    1. India "outraged" that US would accept the word of a mere servant as grounds for strip-searching a diplomat. Ironically, the diplomat is from an untouchable caste (odd pun in this case):
                    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/devyani-k.../440249-3.html

                    2. How does a woman like Khobragade who oppresses fellow women get to be in charge of "women's affairs" at the Consulate? (Are there women in the US Congress who have illegal immigrants working in their homes for low pay?)

                    Apparently, it wasn't the first case of an Indian diplomat in NYC mistreating a maid. Shanti Gurung was awarded over a million dollars:
                    http://www.searchindia.com/2013/12/1...india-problem/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nimbus View Post
                      Here's a more prominent case, but this time the perp was literally above the (U.S.) law:
                      http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/politi...html?c=&page=1
                      She brought her from India, of course she would pay Indian salary. Would I bring a maid from Indonesia and pay her Shanghai salary? Of course not, I want to save money. If paying Shanghai salary, I would employ a local instead.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Missnaughty View Post
                        She brought her from India, of course she would pay Indian salary. Would I bring a maid from Indonesia and pay her Shanghai salary? Of course not, I want to save money. If paying Shanghai salary, I would employ a local instead.
                        Then she should have employed a local, see if the hired help is willing to work 40 hours cleaning the house for minimum wage.

                        As a diplomat she was paid a diplomat's salary appropriate for living cost in the host country. In other word, she was paid U.S. salary (at least). She then turned around and insisted to pay Indian salary to the maid for work done in USA? U.S. immigration regulation specifically says the maid has to be paid based on U.S. wage law, hence the contract she submitted to the US gov't saying so.

                        If she can't adhere to US law, she should request posting to a different country where they don't care about worker's rights.

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                        • #13
                          Arnold the Governator paid his immigrant maid a decent salary but then turned her into his sex slave,
                          just sayin’.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Missnaughty View Post
                            She brought her from India, of course she would pay Indian salary. Would I bring a maid from Indonesia and pay her Shanghai salary? Of course not, I want to save money. If paying Shanghai salary, I would employ a local instead.
                            So the Indonesians that go to work in Shanghai should be paid less than Shanghai's minimum wage? Is there an exception that if you are employing someone from a foreign country, labor laws don't apply? People might want to bring maids from their home country because they speak the same language and have the same cultural understandings. Also if they are required to pay a certain amount, they want the money to go to someone from their own country or who will work harder for the same pay.

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                            • #15
                              Good points, Juk. Remember, this high-handed attitude toward maids is part of the same mentality that locks up the passport "as insurance that they don't run away when I mistreat them". What I found interesting in the article on the diplomat is that the Indian foreign service worked overtime to figure out a loophole and appoint her to UN mission to get higher diplomatic immunity (i.e., any crime, not just a crime committed as part of your consular work). Yet somehow they couldn't spend a few hours educating their new crop of diplomats each year about the importance of obeying local laws.

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