An appeals court from the UAE acquitted a maid from the Philippines of the murder of her employer and scrapped her death sentence, the Philippines Foreign Ministry and UAE media said yesterday. The 30 year old maid was sentenced to death by a lower tribunal in the city of Al Ain in May 2015 for fatally stabbing her Emirati employer in 2014. The maid claimed to have acted in self-defense after her employer tried to rape her.
An Appeals Court in Al Ain on Monday overturned the verdict, convicted her only of stealing a mobile telephone and handed her a five-year jail term, the statement said, identifying her as Jennifer Dalquez. “Ms. Dalquez was declared innocent without ‘diyyah’ or payment of blood money”. The statement further said that she would serve the jail sentence minus the time she had already spent in prison. Officials at Al Ain Federal Appeal Court were not readily available for comment.
Hundreds of thousands of workers from countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Ethiopia work in the UAE, according to Human Rights Watch, The UAE’s Federal National Council last month approved a new draft law which the rights group said was a step forward in improving living conditions for domestic workers, noting that enforcement mechanisms were needed. It also said improvements to the bill were required to bring the country into line with the International Labor Organizations’ Workers Convention.