Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Filipina domestic worker who became pregnant after being raped in Saudi Arabia may face the death penalty because the baby died soon after she secretly gave birth in her room. The woman hid her pregnancy because she was afraid her employer might get upset.

Gerwin Sundungan of Kaagapay ng Bawat OFW Advocates, a group that helps distressed Filipinos, said the woman had been arrested in Jeddah and charged with immorality and infanticide. Sundungan has sought assistance from the Philippine Consulate.

Vice Consul Lemuel Lopez said the maid was raped by a foreign expatriate working as an on-call driver for her employers and she did not report the rape or pregnancy for fear of reprisals. However, a female employer saw her giving birth in February.

The employer left the room to call her children and has told police the baby had already been wrapped in a piece of cloth and placed in a plastic bag by the time she returned. The employer rushed the baby to a hospital but it died enroute.

The death penalty applies for infanticide, but Lopez said the charges might be dropped if it could be proved that the domestic worker had suffered from postnatal depression. Lopez urged Filipino workers to immediately report cases of sexual assault or rape to the police.

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