A harrowing tale of human trafficking

A woman who was lured with a job in Dubai and forced into prostitution, recounts her harrowing tale as the alleged mastermind behind her sufferings and that of dozens of other women was arrested in India last week.
 
Like many gullible victims of trafficking, Sheeja Aziz, a 34-year-old divorcee, fell for the lure of a cook’s job in Dubai, only to discover later that she has been nailed.
 
Police believe that the alleged female kingpin behind Sheeja’s case, Sauda Biwi, have trafficked and forced into prostitution hundreds of women from India, Dubai-based tabloid 7Days reported. The good news is that Sauda was arrested by Indian police last week.
 
Recalling her ordeal in the brothels of Dubai and Sharjah, Sheeja who was saved by the workers of Peoples Cultural Forum in Sharjah says, “They were animals with no heart. They abused me and beat me for not listening to them. I am lucky to have escaped them.”
 
With many other victims, Sauda and a male accomplice, locked up Sheeja in cramped flats and tortured them for not obeying orders.
 
However, luckily for Sheeja, she escaped the hell after days, when a few social workers came to where she was locked up and posing as Embassy officials got her released.
 
Sheeja added: “There are many girls who are not as lucky as I am. They need help to escape from these brothels.”
 
Sauda was eventually arrested thanks to a complaint lodged by Sheeja after her escape in 2007, which came in the nick of time as she was due to be sold on to another pimp.
 
“Sauda was speaking over the phone fixing the price for me. It’s sheer luck that I escaped an hour before I was to be sold,” she said.
 
Understandably, while in the brothel, Sheeja faced the wrath of several men who she accused raped her continuously. However, she was also fortunate enough to have a Good Samaritan as her client.
 
“They locked me up with one man and left the room. Luckily, he turned out to be a good person and could speak my language. I fell at his feet and told him my story,” she recalled.
 
The man called her brother-in law in India, who alerted the community group in Sharjah.
 
Still can’t get over the horrific experience, Sheeja wants justice and seeks maximum penalty for Sauda.
 
 “She has ruined the lives of many innocent women. She should be locked up for life or sentenced to death,” Sheeja said.
 
Indian police have so far linked Sauda to the traf­ficking of seven women, but say she could be behind more than 300 cases.
 
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