A Filipino maid was cruelly tied to a tree by a Middle Eastern family as punishment for leaving furniture outside in the sun, according to reports.
The woman, named Lovely Acosta, 26, had been working for a wealthy family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for several months.
She is said to have angered her employers after leaving a piece of expensive furniture outside in the scorching heat, where it risked being faded by the sun.
A colleague, also from the Philippines, took pictures of the alleged punishment in a bid to expose the family’s cruel work practices.
The shocking images showed the maid tied by her wrists and legs to a tree in the family’s garden on May 9.
Her employers were allegedly trying to show her the effects of staying outside in under the sun.
The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it was made aware of the situation and successfully helped the mother-of-two to return home.
A spokesman said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reports that Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Lovely Acosta Baruelo from Saudi Arabia arrived in Manila at 8.55pm on May 9.
“The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reported that the case of OFW Baruelo was referred to them on May 9 and she was repatriated on the same day. OFW Baruelo was allegedly punished by her employer by being tied to a tree.’’
A woman who claimed to be Acosta’s co-worker appealed for help and said their employer would hurt them whenever they commit small mistakes.
Lovely has since returned to her family in La Union, the Philippines.
Speaking this week, the relieved worker said: “Thank you so much to all those who helped me. I want to also ask help for the other Filipinos left there.
“They are the ones who helped me and uploaded my pictures. I am afraid for their safety. I hope they get rescued too.
“You old man will find your karma, just you wait. Keep deducting our salaries. This is the reason why you have poor health. It’s your karma for all the wrong things you did.”
An estimated 2.3 million Filipinos work in the Middle East and Africa. Of this number, more than half are women.
There have been many complaints that they are mistreated by their new employers.