The Guardian reports: Authorities in India have asked the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Delhi to cooperate in an ongoing police investigation into charges that one of the kingdom’s senior diplomats in the city repeatedly raped and abused two domestic servants who were held captive in his luxury apartment.
Earlier this week police raided the diplomat’s residence in the satellite town of Gurgaon where, they have told reporters, they found two Nepali women employed as maids. The police later opened an inquiry into allegations made by the two women that they had been held against their will, denied food and water, beaten, and repeatedly raped by up to seven men at a time over a period of several weeks. Investigators now want to interview the main accused who has reportedly taken refuge in the Saudi embassy.
Vikas Swarup, an Indian government spokesperson, said: “[The Ministry of External Affairs] called in [the] Saudi ambassador and conveyed the request of [the] police for cooperation of the embassy in the case of two Nepali citizens.”
The Saudi Arabian embassy has issued a statement denying all the allegations, describing them as “completely baseless”, and has lodged an official complaint about the raid on the apartment which it says was a breach of diplomatic privilege.
On Thursday, demonstrators gathered outside the Saudi embassy shouting slogans calling for the prosecution of the diplomat.
Leaked details of medical assessments of the two women published in local media in India – which appear to corroborate the allegations of abuse – will increase the pressure on Indian authorities to continue the inquiry, despite the diplomatic damage to relations with Saudi Arabia. [Continue reading…]