The employers of a Filipina maid found dead in a freezer in Kuwait have been sentenced to death in absentia by a Kuwaiti court on Sunday.
Syrian authorities surrendered Nader Essam Assaf to Beirut in February because of his Lebanese citizenship but his Syrian wife Mona remains in custody in Damascus.
The discovery of Joanna Demafelis’s body on Feb. 6 in the apartment in Kuwait City, where it had reportedly been kept for more than a year, sparked outrage and refocused attention on the tragic plight of poor Filipinos toiling mostly as maids abroad. It prompted Duterte to ban the deployment of new Filipino workers to Kuwait, where many abuses have been reported.
The 29-year-old’s body, which allegedly showed signs of torture, was found earlier this month inside a freezer in the abandoned apartment unit of the detained couple.
The couple have been the subject of an Interpol manhunt since Demafelis’s body was found more than a year after her family reported her missing.