Modern Slavery:Gurwinder Singh,migrant worker pleads to be repatriated

by Justice Upheld

Modern Slavery:Gurwinder Singh,migrant worker pleads to be repatriated

by Justice Upheld
Justice Upheld
Case Owner
Justice Upheld is a British registered international Human Rights organisation that represents victims of Human Rights abuses who do not have the financial means to seek redress.
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Justice Upheld
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Justice Upheld is a British registered international Human Rights organisation that represents victims of Human Rights abuses who do not have the financial means to seek redress.
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Who are we? 

Justice Upheld is a British registered international Human Rights organisation that represents victims of Human Rights abuses who do not have the financial means to seek redress in relation to the abuse that they have suffered. 

Case Background: 

We are crowd funding in support of Mr Gurwinder Singh, an Indian migrant worker based in Saudi Arabia who has, for the last two years, been prevented from returning to India by the Saudi authorities.

Mr Gurwinder Singh does not have the financial means to pursue his case through the Courts to assert his human rights.

Mr Gurwinder Singh is a 26 year old Indian national from Punjab, India  who travelled to Saudi Arabia in December, 2015 to work as a Heavy Goods Driver at ‘Ayub Abdullah Al Zunedi in Zulfi’ Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

                                           

In the first three months of his employment, Gurwinder’s employer failed to pay his salary. Gurwinder’ confronted his employer Ayub Abdullah Al Zunedi in relation to the wilful refusal to pay the salary due to him. Gurwinder alleges that  Ayub Abdullah Al Zunedi threatened to kill him for asking for his salary. This is part of the ‘Kafala’ system in action (note below under ‘Further reading’).

Gurwinder took his employer to the Labour Court to recover the overdue salary however, his employer refused to pay.  Instead Ayub Abdullah Al Zunedi proceeded to make  deductions from Gurwinder’s salary for alleged damage to the vehicle and continued to withhold his salary.

On the 9th of September, 2017 during  the course of his employment and whilst driving his truck, Gurwinder’s truck was hit by a speeding car. The driver of the speeding car died on impact. Gurwinder maintains that he was driving at a speed of between 30-40 M.P.H and that the driver of the car was allegedly driving at a speed of between 160 and 180 M.P.H. This was backed up by the findings of the Police investigation into the collision.

The Police investigation disclosed that Gurwinder Singh was not insured to drive. Gurwinder claims that in Saudi Arabia it is the duty of the employer to insure the employees under the employment contract. Ayub Abdullah Al Zunedi refused to take responsibility; instead he made false accusations against Gurwinder and filed a malicious criminal complaint. The Saudi Police did not investigate Ayub Abdullah Al Zunedi for failing to provide Gurwinder Singh with insurance cover.

Gurwinder Singh was tried under Sharia Law and Ordered to pay 2 million and 44 thousand in Saudi Riyal in ‘blood money’ (that is  Rs 42 Lakh  (Indian Rupees) (approximately £42,000 GB)) to the family of the deceased who have made it clear, that they will not accept anything less than the ‘blood money’ Ordered under Sharia Law. Unless this amount is paid to the satisfaction of the deceased’s family, Gurwinder Singh initially was  in prison custody for 18 months. 

Our concerns about the original conviction: 

Mr Gurwinder Singh did not receive Consular access. 
He did not have access to legal advice and/or legal representation.

The court pleadings  and his original trial was in Arabic. Mr Gurwinder Singh does not speak and cannot read Arabic. The Court did not facilitate or make provisions for him to have an interpreter at his trial.


Mr Gurwinder Singh has now been bailed however his visa and work permit have expired and his stay in Saudi Arabia is illegal. He lives in fear of being arrested. He wants to return to India but he is prevented from doing so because his original passport and supporting are in the custody of the Saudi authorities who appear to be withholding the same since Mr Gurwinder Singh has not paid the ‘blood money’.

Mr Gurwinder Singh requires funding to challenge and appeal his original conviction.


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