Lebanon 'detains suspect' in Joanna Demafelis' murder in Kuwait

by Abel Hampton February 25, 2018, 1:45
Lebanon 'detains suspect' in Joanna Demafelis' murder in Kuwait

Crisanto Demafelis and Eva Demafelis hold photos of their daughter Joanna Demafelis, a 29-year-old domestic worker who was murdered and her body discovered in her employer's freezer in Kuwait.

Duterte fumed over the death of Demafelis, who was beaten by her employers and stuffed inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment.

The security source said that Assaf was from the Baalbeck town of Boudai but that Lebanese authorities were yet to confirm the Kuwaiti extradition request.

Both suspects became the subject of an worldwide manhunt aided by Interpol.

On Friday, the Philippines foreign secretary said the suspect is under arrest in Lebanon.

"Lebanon has asked Kuwait to pass on the husband's police record".

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday Mona Hassoun, the second suspect in Demafelis' death is now with authorities in Syria.

Kuwaiti authorities conveyed the arrest of Assaf to Ambassador Renato Villa during a meeting at the Ministry of Interior on Thursday.
In the meeting, Maj.

Duterte had vowed to seek justice for Demafelis and other Filipino workers being abused by their employers overseas.

Philippine officials are under increasing pressure to do more to monitor the safety of the workers, who are mostly maids, construction workers and labourers.

Duterte also floated the possibility of expanding to other countries the deployment ban, saying he could no longer stand persistent reports of abuses against OFWs.

From his end, Cayetano said that in response to the Demafelis murder, both the DFA and the Department of Labor and Employment would work together to carry out the President's instructions to ensure that Filipino migrant workers are adequately protected in host countries overseas.

The Philippines is a major labour exporter with about a tenth of its more than 100 million people working overseas. The workers have been called national heroes because the income they send home sustains the Southeast Asian nation's economy, accounting for about 10 per cent of its annual gross domestic product.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told a Senate hearing that he recalled three labor officers from Kuwait to be investigated over their failure to act on a request by Demafelis's family for help after she went missing in January past year, he said.

Duterte said a list of both reported and unreported cases of mistreatment of Filipino migrant workers would be prepared, which he described as "a long, long task", without mentioning any timetable.

News of the story sparked outrage in the Philippines and shed further light on the conditions of Filipina maids and other foreign workers in the Gulf states and elsewhere.

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