Wed, Jul 25, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Media star unrepentant over remarks

AFP, KUWAIT CITY

A Kuwaiti social media star remained unapologetic on Monday over comments she made against new laws aimed at improving conditions for Filipino domestic workers, despite a backlash on the Internet.

Sondo al-Qattan faces criticism for a video posted on July 10 to Instagram, where she has 2.3 million followers, in which she attacked measures introduced in May that grant Filipinas working in the Gulf state one day off per week and prevent employers from keeping their passports.

Qattan, known for her Internet make-up tutorials, said by telephone that the outcry was “unjustified” and did not require an apology.

“All I said was that the employer was entitled to keep the servant’s passport, and that many Kuwaitis and Gulf nationals agree with me,” Qattan said.

“I have the right as a kafil [sponsor] to keep my employee’s passport, and I am responsible for paying a deposit of up to 1,500 dinars [US$4,957],” she said.

She said the practices are not an “insult to the employee, and do not concern humanity or human rights because I did not deprive the employee of her salary or beat her.”

“The servant lives in the house just like the owners, he eats the same food, sleeps, rests and goes out shopping ... this is a natural right. He’s not like a waiter who works fixed hours, so we give him a weekly leave,” she added.

Qattan’s comments sparked outrage on social media, with many Twitter and Instagram users calling on brands that work with the makeup artist to sever ties.

Migrante International called on Qattan to apologize and likened her comments to those of “a slave owner.”

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