Indonesia maid 'killed in Saudi Arabia'
It comes as officials arrived in Saudi Arabia to follow up claims of torture against a second Indonesian maid.
Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa is recovering in hospital in Medina.
Her injuries include gashes to her face and cuts to her lips, allegedly inflicted by her employers using scissors. She was also burned with an iron and suffered internal injuries, officials say.
Indonesia's president has demanded justice for the "extraordinary torture".
Indonesian media reported on Thursday that the Saudi Arabian government had arrested the female employer of Sumiati, and apologised for the maid's treatment.
'Beyond inhumane' Reports of the murder of a second maid came on Friday.
AnalysisSeveral countries across the Middle East and Asia host millions of migrant domestic workers, ranging from 196,000 in Singapore to approximately 1.5 million in Saudi Arabia.
Whether or not they are well treated is a matter of luck rather than legislation.
Employers have huge control over them and the workers have few rights. Most have their passports taken away.
It is hard to document their treatment as they are "hidden" in people's homes, but abuse is systemic, according to Human Rights Watch.
Traditionally, the Philippines has been a stronger advocate for its workers than the other "sender" countries, but the protest by the Indonesian president is unusually high-level - especially as it occurred during the Muslim Eid celebrations.
There has been growing tension between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia over rising fees charged by private Indonesian recruiting agencies. Saudi Arabia was even considering banning Indonesian domestic workers.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene told the BBC that the Saudi envoy had denounced the crime and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.
An Indonesian official said he had been told that Ms Komalasari's employers had been arrested.
Earlier Indonesia's cabinet met to discuss the need for greater protection of the country's migrant workers in the Middle East. There are estimated to be about one million.
Rights organisations say many foreign domestic maids in Saudi Arabia work in harsh circumstances and often suffer abuse from their employers.
Mr Tene said Indonesia was pushing for a memorandum of understanding through diplomacy, but said he was aware that Saudi Arabia does not have such a deal with any other country.
The Saudi Labour Ministry has in the past acknowledged some problems with the treatment of domestic staff, but the government also says foreign workers' rights are protected under Islamic law.
Most of the maids are from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philipines.
An official in the Ministry of Labour Awad al-Radadi said the maids leave their employers for a variety of reasons, including non-payment of wages and maltreatment by family members.
He said that the maids were housed in shelters run by the ministry until the disputes were resolved.
It's estimated that more than one-million foreigners are employed as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
Saudi maid verdict 'outrageous'
Ms Miyati's condition was compelling physical evidence of abuse, HRW says
The female employer, who admitted the abuse and was originally sentenced to 35 lashes, had her sentence overturned.
Human Rights Watch said the ruling on Monday was "outrageous", and sent "a dangerous message" to Saudi employers.
Ms Miyati, 25, contracted gangrene after allegedly being tied up for a month and left without food in 2005. She had to have several fingers and toes amputated.
New York-based Human Rights Watch called for an appeals court to "impose stiff penalties on the employers, including imprisonment, and payment of significant financial compensation".
Saudi officials have not commented on the report.
Human Rights Watch says Ms Miyati was treated in a Riyadh hospital in March 2005 for gangrene, malnourishment and other injuries.
All charges against Ms Miyati's male employer were dropped early in the investigation, Human Rights Watch says.
On Monday a Riyadh judge found the female employer not guilty, despite her earlier admission and "compelling physical evidence", the group says.
A prior Saudi judgement, subsequently overturned, had seen Ms Miyati convicted of falsely accusing her employers and sentenced to 79 lashes.
Human Rights Watch said the latest ruling "sends a dangerous message to Saudi employers that they can beat domestic workers with impunity and that victims have little hope of justice".
Rights organisations say many foreign domestic maids in Saudi Arabia work in harsh circumstances and often suffer abuse by their employers.
The Saudi Labour Ministry has acknowledged some problems, but the government also says foreign workers' rights are protected under Islamic law.
Nails removed from 'tortured' Sri Lankan maid
X-rays showed that there were 24 nails and needles in her body. Doctors said those remaining inside her body posed no immediate threat to her life.
The nails were up to 2in (5cm) long, a hospital official said.
"The surgery is successful and she is recovering now," Dr Satharasinghe said, according to news agency Associated Press.
Ms Ariyawathie, a mother of three, underwent a three-hour procedure.
Doctors said they would carry out further surgery later to remove the remaining nails.
'Deeply traumatised' Ms Ariyawathie travelled to Saudi Arabia in March to become a housemaid.
Last week, she flew back to Sri Lanka and was admitted to hospital in the south of the island, where she told doctors she had undergone abuse for more than a month.
The doctors found 24 metal pieces in her legs and hands.
She could not sit down or walk properly, doctors said.
They said Ms Ariyawathie was deeply traumatised and unable to give full details of her experience.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan authorities have launched an investigation.
"We have launched a strong protest with the Saudi government through the external affairs minister, but there has been no response yet," Kingsley Ranawaka, chairman of Bureau for Foreign Employment, told the BBC.
Around 1.8 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, 70% of whom are women.
Most work as housemaids in the Middle East, while smaller numbers work in Singapore and Hong Kong.
BBC correspondent in Colombo
Kusuma says a Saudi employer burned her with an iron and hot knife
"Sometimes she would take a hot iron and burn me or heat up a knife and put it on my body."
Kusuma is still trying to understand why her employer treated her this way when she had not done anything wrong.
Kusuma says that one day her employer just tired of her. The employer said they were going to the police station and that Kusuma would be arrested.
Instead she just put her on a plane back to Sri Lanka, knowing she would never be prosecuted for torturing her.
Sri Lankan Minister of Labour Mahinda Samarasinghe assures maids that the government "has been taking these issues up with the relevant authorities and they have been in the main responding positively".
However, labour activists say it is essential Sri Lanka operates a blacklisting system for rogue employers.
The minister says that will depend on the co-operation of the Saudi authorities, who have not yet agreed.
A recent survey by Colombo University found a quarter of Sri Lankan maids had suffered problems such as abuse or lack of payment while abroad.
When I went to his bedroom he closed the door and removed my clothes and his. When I tried to resist he threatened to kill me
Soma, Sri Lankan maid
The Bureau of Foreign Employment runs a counter at Colombo airport to help returning maids with problems.
It says on average 50 a day come back in distress.
Lebanon does operate a blacklist system for bad employers, but that did not help 41-year-old Soma, who recalls repeated rapes by the 18-year-old son of her female employer.
"When I went to his bedroom he closed the door and removed my clothes and his. When I tried to resist he threatened to kill me," she says.
Soma says she begged him to spare her on the grounds that she had a son his age.
"Another day, his four friends came to the house. When I took tea to the room they closed the door and kept me on their laps and started to touch my body and abuse me," she says in tears. All the men then raped her.
There was little comfort from Soma's employer, who seemed to think she had employed a prostitute for her son rather than a cleaner for her house.
"I complained to his mother and she just said, 'I will give you pills to make sure you don't get pregnant' and she beat me."
Soma eventually escaped from the flat and walked for four hours until she met by chance a Sri Lankan couple who took her home, fed her and took her to the embassy.
Although the rapes were reported to the embassy and police, Soma was just put on a plane home. Nothing happened to her rapists.
"We are not in a position to say, 'Look here, ensure that all of these things are in place otherwise we will not send our people'," says Minister Samarasinghe about the need for better insurance and health cover if something does go wrong.
Maids arriving back in Colombo airport - 50 a day are in distress
Migrant workers make up the largest net foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka and the country has a huge unemployment problem, so it often cannot dictate terms to richer nations.
Training the maids about what to expect is a key issue.
"If a person is trained at the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, I don't see that person will have a problem," says Shoaib Abdeen, who runs the Mount Lavinia school for maids.
The government says all women going to Arabic countries have to take basic language courses and learn cooking.
Those going to the more lucrative markets of Singapore, Hong Kong and Cyprus get extra classes like map reading.
The maids are advised not to run away from their employer if they encounter problems but maintain a positive attitude.
Given the high failure rate of women workers overseas, it might be better to teach an escape plan should the need arise.
For legal reasons Kusuma and Soma are not the maids' real names
No doubt, this will cut down on crime in our country
Hamed al-Othman, Kuwaiti Prosecutor General
The execution was carried out behind closed doors but later, for the first time in 20 years, the public was allowed to view the bodies, still hanging from the gallows.
"This achieves public deterrence," said Prosecutor General Hamed al-Othman after the hangings. "No doubt, this will cut down on crime in our country."
Hundreds of Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates, including several children, watched as a doctor pronounced the men dead and the nooses were removed from their necks.
The BBC's Heba Saleh said the move appeared to be an effort to assuage public anger over a perceived increase in violent crime in the country.
"We are naturally shocked," Zahurul Huq , a spokesman for the Bangladeshi foreign ministry, told the French news agency AFP in Dhaka. "We are trying to bring the bodies of the victims to Bangladesh."
The London-based human-rights group Amnesty International pleaded with Kuwait last week not to carry out the executions.
The three men were convicted of raping and murdering the maid at her employer's home in 1996.
In 2001, an appeals court overturned their life sentences and condemned the men to death for their crime.
The Kuwaiti Government did re-examine the case for two weeks after a recent appeal from the Bangladeshi prime minister, officials in Dhaka said.
Kuwait has executed 21 people since the Gulf War ended in 1991.
Making such a plea, the defendant does not admit or deny guilt but agrees to a punishment.
The plea marked an about-face for the 41-year-old princess, who in February promised a judge she would return to Florida for the trial, because she wanted to clear her name.
"Would we have preferred to go to trial in the long run? Yes. But at the end of the day, she's in Saudi Arabia. This will terminate the case at this point," he said.
The charge was brought last December by a former maid of the princess, Memet Ismiyati, who claimed she was pushed down 12 steps at their apartment.
The princess - a niece of the Saudi King Fahd - was living in Orlando at the time, while studying English at the University of Central Florida.
She was later accused of also forcing the maid to work without pay, and of stealing electronic equipment from her driver.
The princess has already settled a civil lawsuit filed by Memet Ismiyati.
She returned to live in Saudi Arabia in February with a judge's permission.
When any case comes in light the Saudi authorities totally deny the charges and begin more torture of the workers of that country. All ministers, judges, police and officials in Saudi follow the blind faith and their evil book to abuse others and treat as slaves. These Saudis are inhuman and are worse than infected machines. They just utter Allah Allah in every next sentence but their allah is a bogus fake deity of Mecca that meant satan.
These satantic people need to be punished. Saudis and all these torturing people must be brought to justice.
The world must stop sending dollars to these people by not buying their oil.
By Paul Wood
BBC News, Riyadh
Many Saudis are incredulous at the new twist
The 25-year-old maid, Nour Miyati, from Indonesia was sent to hospital with gangrene saying she had been tied up for a month and left without food.
But Saudi authorities have charged her with making false allegations.
They also claim she has now withdrawn part of her original statement.
The most serious charges against the Saudi couple have been dropped although they could still be prosecuted for neglect and the wife for assault.
Nour Miyati had to have several fingers amputated.
She said the Saudi couple who employed her had bound her hand and foot and left her on a bathroom floor for a month without food.
She also said the wife had accused her of dressing immodestly around the house and had beaten her with a shoe knocking out several teeth.
But after a newspaper showed the maid black and blue, with bandaged hands, the authorities launched an investigation.
That has now concluded the gangrene came from an existing but unspecified disease but other injuries were caused by cleaning fluids used in the maid's work and that the bruising was self-inflicted or caused by a falling wardrobe.
Nour Miyati has now been charged with making false allegations.
Some Saudis are incredulous at all this.
Internet chatrooms reflect their belief that such abuse of domestic servants is widespread and part of a wider human rights problem in the kingdom.
Certainly being a maid in Saudi Arabia is not a low-risk occupation.
Last year, for instance, the Indonesian embassy alone received more than 800 complaints of torture.
It has asked for a fresh inquiry into the Miyati case and in the meantime is banning any new recruitment of maids from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia.
Kuwait's abused domestic workers have 'nowhere to turn'
Although Latha survived, many other women from South Asia have similar stories and have severely injured themselves while trying to escape abusive employers across the Gulf.
The Kuwaiti police usually register these escapes as "suicide attempts," according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Latha's story is one of thousands of harrowing examples of physical and sexual abuse - compiled in a report by the rights watchdog - at the hands of Kuwaiti employers.
"I could not go out. Even if I threw out the garbage downstairs, she followed me," she says.
No safe avenues Sanju, another Sri Lankan worker, says in the report that she had to suffer in silence without a day off or rest for months.
"The madam always beat me; She would beat me on the head. I always had severe headaches. She told me, 'I can kill you; I can beat you. No one cares about you.'"
- Population - 3 million
- over 660,000 migrant domestic workers
- Migrant workers are not protected by the local labour laws
Kuwait has the highest ratio of domestic workers to citizens in the Middle East.
More than 660,000 migrant domestic workers in Kuwait - mostly from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Indonesia and Philippines.
HRW reveals that in 2009, domestic workers in Kuwait filed over 10,000 complaints about their treatment with their embassies.
The Kuwaiti government, however, was quoted in the report as saying that no widespread abuse is taking place.
End Quote Sanju Sri Lankan domestic worker in KuwaitShe would beat me on the head. I always had severe headaches. She told me, 'I can kill you; I can beat you. No one cares about you.'”
But the experience of thousands of domestic workers in the report tell a different story.
Tilkumari Pun, a worker from Nepal, worked for 13 months without getting paid. She repeatedly asked for the money to pay for her father's heart operation in Nepal.
After waiting for months, she approached the police for assistance, but they detained her for "absconding".
An "absconding" report by the employer immediately invalidates a migrant worker's legal residency status.
If reported as "absconding", women will have to spend additional time waiting for the authorities to clear them before returning home.
Nur, an Indonesian worker, is quoted as saying that her employer denied her permission to return home at the end of her contract and refused to return her passport after she ran away.
"I went to my embassy," she said. "They called Mama (the employer) from there. Mama refused to handover the passport. I had to be deported without it."
HRW has called on the Kuwaiti authorities to include migrant domestic workers into the country's labour laws so that they are better protected against abusive employers.
"Employers hold all the cards in Kuwait," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
"The government has left workers to depend on employers' good will - or to suffer when good will is absent."
The domestic workers say they find it virtually impossible to pursue their complaints.
"The government should remove these burdensome legal hurdles that employers impose even on abused women," says Ms Whitson.
She says the Kuwaiti government has been discussing reforming kafala, the sponsorship system that gives employers full control over workers including the length of their stay in the country.
"The time has come to implement measures that will protect workers' rights in practise - not just on paper," she added.