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Woman in Dubai allegedly tortured maids

June 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, June 11 (UPI) -- A woman in Dubai has been charged with torturing two foreign women who worked for her as maids, including one who died of pneumonia.

The woman, identified only as R.M., denied the charges at a hearing Monday, Gulf News reported. Her husband, A.F., is charged with aiding and abetting her actions and also denies the charges.

An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for July 1.

The surviving maid, a 29-year-old from the Philippines identified as E.K., told police she and her colleague, an Ethiopian, were beaten and given inadequate food. She said R.M. sometimes used bizarre punishments, forcing them to drink bleach on one occasion because she was not satisfied with the way they cleaned the bathroom.

A forensic examiner found evidence the Ethiopian woman had been systematically tortured and was denied medical care.

"The fact that she was made to drink a pesticide quickened her death," the examiner said.

R.M. has been jailed pending a verdict while her husband is free on bail.

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