Trafficking Victim Explains Ordeal In Oman

A  Liberian returnee (name withheld) who became an alleged victim of human trafficking in the Arab Republic of Oman has given a chilling account of how she was taken to a hospital in Muscat and was subjected to a surgical procedure without her consent, even though she wasn’t sick.

Speaking Tuesday, April 5, 2022 during a stakeholders meeting with the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia at the Ministerial Complex in Monrovia, the victim narrated that while in Oman, her employer, who is a lady took her to a hospital and instructed the doctors to carry out a surgical operation on her, which she strongly rejected.

“It was on November 27 when my boss lady whom I was working for took me to a hospital. I told her that I wasn’t sick but she insisted that we needed to go to the hospital. When we reached the hospital she told me that I needed to go under surgery and I responded that I wasn’t sick. But my boss lady told me that he owns me and as such she can do anything she wants with me,” the victim narrated.

She added, “While I was sitting, the nurse gave me juice and I drank it. After that, I couldn’t remember anything else. But when I got up, I saw three marks on my stomach and when I asked her, she repeated that she owns me and she can do whatever she wants with me.”

The alleged human trafficking victim further assumed that she suspected something was extracted from her body, taking into consideration the number of operation marks on her lower abdomen.

She also observed that the operation marks on her lower abdomen may have been an extraction of one of her kidneys, which she alleged was used to replenish those of her boss’s mother-in-law who she claimed has been suffering from kidney failure and was on regular dialysis.

The victim stated that upon observing what her boss lady did to her, she called her agent back in Liberia (Cephus Sedebay) and his response was that he doesn’t have influence over “the people whom I was working with, adding that he is only working with them online.”

According to her, she spent three days at the hospital after the surgical operation and was later taken to the house to continue her chores.

It has been gathered that the agent (Cephus Sedebay) was arrested but was later released on bail although it is still unknown whether he is still in the country.

However, the victim lamented that she couldn’t do the work she previously did prior to being taken to the hospital on grounds that the operation marks were still hurting, thereby causing her to bleed while mopping floors.

She also recalled that she experienced tough times during her stay in Oman where she had to cater to seven families, including the cleaning of ten bedrooms, seven bathrooms and five living rooms on a daily basis.

She told the gathering that her condition could no longer allow her to perform physical work which encouraged her to strategize an escape plan.

She unveiled that her plan of escaping came to fruition and she left the home of her employers and went in the streets where she came in contact with other Liberian girls (escapees) who were residing in an unfinished building.

According to her, one of her friends served as her personal doctor while in the unfinished building near a swamp in Muscat, and all of her friends helped to provide counselling for her whenever she is experiencing severe pains as a result of the surgical operation she underwent.

Afterward, the victim indicted that they came across an anti-human trafficking organization headed by Filipinos who were administering medication to her before her dispatch from Oman.

She appreciated the Labour Minister and the Liberian Counsel General in Dubai for their role in their return to Liberia.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister, Cllr. Charles Gibson informed the alleged human trafficking victims that the Minister of Health has been instructed to do a proper medical evaluation of the Liberian returnees who recently arrived from Oman aimed at establishing facts around their conditions.

Cllr. Gibson assured the public that the Government of Liberia will do everything possible to ensure that Liberians in other parts of the world where they are victim of human trafficking are rescued and repatriated to Liberia.

He disclosed that the Government of Liberia will soon dispatch two personnel to Oman aimed at ensuring that the rest of the Liberian girls return to their motherland.

Cllr. Gibson said there are more than 70 girls in that Arab Republic but noted that Government is trying to repatriate those that are in unfavorable conditions claiming that not all of the Liberians are being mistreated in Oman.

For his part, Justcie Minister Musa Dean asserted that the Government of Liberia will ensure that people involved with human trafficking are prosecuted in line with the laws of Liberia.

He called on the alleged human trafficking victims to work closely with the Ministry of Justice and other requisite entity in ensuring that Liberians don’t get involved with illegal travels.

The Justice Minister also called on the alleged victim to help discourage other Liberians from taking such a treacherous path in life.

“Anytime you hear about anybody leaving this country under any such condition that will suggest what you went through. Just let us know,” the Justice Minister cautioned.

He announced the Trafficking-In-Persons Hotline “2883” and called on the alleged victims to help eradicate the menace by giving the requisite authority the rightful information.

It can be recalled that the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia on December 12, 2021 held an emergency meeting on the situation of Liberia women in Dubai and Oman.

The National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce revealed that the primary objective of the meeting was to consolidate information and a response to what is obtaining in Dubai and Oman with regard to Liberians that have been found in difficult situation with those that transported them with the hope of getting employment and finding greener pastures.

The move by the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce have yielded fruits, taking into consideration the recent repatriation of 23 Liberians girls from Oman who arrived at different time interval in Liberia.

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