MALAYA: Rallies for OFW set to hang in Kuwait held here and abroad

By ANTHONY IAN CRUZ
Malaya
Nov. 14, 2007

MEMBERS of overseas workers’ advocate Migrante International led protest actions in Manila, Hong Kong and New York City yesterday to draw attention to the case of Filipina domestic helper Marilou Ranario who is facing the death penalty in Kuwait.

Ranario, 35, was sentenced to death by hanging on Sept. 28, 2005 for killing her allegedly abusive employer Najat Mahmoud Faraj Mobarak on Jan. 11, 2005. The Kuwaiti Supreme Court began oral arguments on her final appeal yesterday.

The protesters said Ranario was “a victim of the Arroyo government’s criminal neglect” and have expressed fears that she will be the next Flor Contemplacion.

Contemplacion was a domestic helper who was hanged in Singapore in 1995 for the killing of her master’s child and a fellow DH.

Ranario, a former teacher, has been in prison for two years. She is married and has two children here. She arrived in Kuwait in December 2003.

Protesters at Plaza Miranda in Manila appealed to the Arroyo government “to wield its political power and do everything” to save Ranario. In New York, members of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, Domestic Support Group of the Kabalikat-Philippine Forum and the NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines staged a demonstration at the Filipino community in Queens.

In Hong Kong, leaders of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants, and the Mission for Migrant Workers personally submitted a petition to the Kuwaiti consulate seeking Ranario’s release on humanitarian grounds. These same groups later held a picket at the Philippine consulate, condemning the Arroyo government’s abandonment of Ranario.

Protests were also held today at the Kuwait embassy in Tokyo by members of the Kalipunan ng mga Filipinong Nagkakaisa, Philippine Women’s League of Japan, the Filipina Circle for Advancement and Progress, and Migrante-Japan chapter.

Migrante said those who want to support Ranario can sign an online petition at http://www.petition-online.com/marilou/petition.html urging the Amir of Kuwait the spare Ranario’s life on the basis of her claim that “she was being severely maltreated and that the night before her employer’s death, she feared greatly for her life.”

The petition adds that “the family of her employer withdrew their personal rights against Marilou through a tanazul or a “statement of dropping a lawsuit’ issued by their lawyer in November 2006.”

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