Maid arrested in Saudi Arabia for ‘witchcraft’

RIYADH, Oct 7, 2007 (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s religious police have arrested a domestic worker accused of having put a spell on her employer, the Al-Madina newspaper reported on Sunday. The arrest of the maid, whose nationality was not revealed, followed a complaint by the wife of the employer who she said had been “bewitched by the maid”.

The woman said she suspected her husband had been put under a spell because he fiercely defended the maid from criticism every time she neglected her work.

Members of the religious police, known as Mutawas, discovered “talismans and products of charlatanism” in a search of the maid’s quarters in the eastern city of Damman, the newspaper added.

The paper said the maid, who is to face trial, “admitted she took refuge in sorcery so as to make her employers like her”.

“The bewitched husband adored the maid and carried out all her wishes, unbeknownst to his wife,” the newspaper said.

Saudi’s feared religious police are tasked with enforcing respect for public morals.

Witchcraft is a capital offence in Saudi Arabia, where Sharia law is strictly applied.

Around two million domestic workers, mostly from Asian countries li