Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Women Accuse Owner of the City of Hope of Selling Their Babies

From Gulf News:

Three young women of different nationalities are accusing the owner of the City of Hope shelter, Sharla Musabih, of selling their new-born babies to families in the UAE.

The women claim they were forced to give up their babies without compensation.

Irina Guseynova, a 25-year-old Russian woman, arrived in the UAE through Sharjah airport on June 3, 2003, on a tourist visa.

She is currently being detained at Dubai Central Jail for staying illegally in the country after being arrested in Abu Dhabi. She told Gulf News that she came here when she was only 20 with another Russian woman, to work as a prostitute.

"The moment I landed at the airport my boss seized my passport. I worked as a prostitute for a year just to pay back my boss the cost of bringing me here, and then I started to work on my own," Irina said. "Later I met an Emirati man from Fujairah. He told me we were married in the Muslim way, and I believed him," she said.

She added when she was six months pregnant the man ran away, leaving her with no money, no food and expecting a child.

"An Uzbekistani human rights activist took me to Sharla. I stayed in her villa in Jumeirah from August 19, 2005 until November 9 when I gave birth to my baby boy at Al Oasis Hospital in Al Ain," she said.

Irina claimed Musabih promised to help her get her passport back and help her with a ticket home, but she did not do it. "The day I went to Sharla an American woman married to an Emirati, identified as Linda, took me to Fujairah Hospital for a health check-up," she said.

Irina said during her stay Sharlah tried to convince her to give her baby to Linda, because Linda had no children and in return Irina would be given a ticket home. "Sharlah threatened to pass my info on to the the police if I refused to give them my baby," she said.

"On the day of the delivery an Ethiopian woman, identified as Zahra, took me to Al Ain and at 11pm on February 9, 2005, I gave birth to my baby boy, whom I have never seen," she said. "I was not allowed to touch or to look at my baby. When we went back to Dubai from Al Ain the next day, Zahra held my baby in her arms and at Sharla's villa the baby was kept away from me in a hall. I tried to enter the hall to see the baby but Sharla did not allow me," she said.

Irina added she was scared and decided to escape that same day at midnight. "After some time, while I was in Abu Dhabi staying with friends, I received a phone call on my mobile from Linda who asked me to go for a full medical check-up, but I did not go. A few days later Linda contacted me again, but I said I had no money."

"Linda was outraged and said she had paid Sharla a huge amount of money in return for my baby," Irina said. Irina said she never received a single dirham from Sharla or from any one else in return for her baby.

Read the full article

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