Saudi national Homaidan Al-Turki has been imprisoned in the United States since 2006, when he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for several horrific crimes he was convicted of committing against his family’s Indonesian domestic worker. The crimes included withholding the young woman’s wages, keeping her a virtual slave for four years and 12 counts of rape for the years of sexual assault the jury concluded he had put her through.
The 28-year sentence was later reduced to 8 years to life due to his good behavior as a prisoner. Now, Al-Turki is up for parole and his Arab supporters have started an online campaign, with the trending hashtag #AlTurkiParole, in an attempt to influence US officials deciding his fate.
Prominent Saudi cleric Awad al-Qarni tweeted:
We ask Colorado to please grant homaidan the chance to live his life around his family #AlturkiParole
— د. عوض القرني (@awadalqarni) May 1, 2017
Here are some more examples of the arguments made by Al-Turki’s supporters:
He is a father, that’s enough reason to be free. pic.twitter.com/Z9mgvUgEIu
— الحُــره (@82Jolee) May 2, 2017
— ابشر بسعدك . (@4gff2) May 2, 2017
Unsurprisingly, there is no mention in any of their tweets about justice for the young Indonesian woman, identified in court documents only as Z.A., that Al-Turki was convicted of horribly mistreating and sexually assaulting for years.
Those charges were denied by Al-Turki at his trial, during which he said that that case against him was due to his religion and Saudi culture.
In relation to the charge that they had withheld Z.A.’s salary for years, court documents filed by Al-Turki’s lawyers said that “there are Saudi Arabian customs regarding a host family’s retention of funds for their domestic servant until she leaves their service.”
In regards to the charges that she was not allowed to leave their home and not allowed to contact her friends, Al-Turki defended himself by saying, “The restrictions placed on her contact with non-relative males were also the same as those applicable to my daughters and other Muslim women in our community. You cannot ask somebody from a different religion to be American to the fullest. You cannot ask them to go dancing, go to the bars. We are Muslim. We are different. The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors is a focal point of the prosecution.”
The prosecution fiercely objected to this line of defense, saying that the charges against Al-Turki had nothing to do with his race or culture and that it was a clear case of human trafficking.
Prosecutor Ann Tomsic provided evidence that the couple brought Z.A. to the US from Saudi Arabia to work for them when she was still a teenager. The affidavit says she was forced to care for the children, cook and cleaning for 12-hours a day, seven days a week without any time off from 2000 to 2004.
When she wasn’t working, the young woman was confined to an unheated basement and allegedly sexually assaulted by Al-Turki. Z.A. was only allowed out of the house by herself to take out the trash, bring in the mail and clean the yard.
The couple also confiscated her Indonesian passport and visa so that they could force her to keep working with little to no pay. Court documents showed she had been paid only $1,500 during her entire stay in the United States when, based on minimum wage laws at the time, the value of her services over three years should have been $96,044.92.
Privacy laws mean the identity and fate of Z.A. remain unknown, but she was paid some compensation money by Al-Turki’s family in exchange for some of the charge’s against him being dropped. The defense had argued that she had fabricated her accusations in an attempt to be able to stay in America, but she left for Indonesia immediately following the trial and never returned, despite having the legal right to stay in the country under the 2000 Trafficking and Violence Protection Act.
The Indonesian government banned domestic workers from going to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries in 2015 due to innumerable cases of abuse, sexual misconduct, and enslavement. However, many desperate Indonesian women ignore the ban and continue to travel to the Middle East to acquire work in those countries illegally, a situation which puts them at even greater risk of abuse.
As we noted the last time al Turki was denied parole when the hashtag received nearly a million tweets, and Jihad Watch notes now: Colorado: Muslim who kept sex slave refuses to speak with female therapists, says doing so would be un-Islamic.
He wants to be returned to Saudi Arabia because what he did isn’t a crime there. He wouldn’t serve any more time.
PS: Despite al Turki being convicted, Muslims are still defending the slave-holding rapist on Twitter in response to this post. Exactly why current vetting of Muslims coming to the U.S. is wholly inadequate.