12 females escape from Makkah orphanage

The orphanage where a number of females are alleging abuse. (Okaz photo)MAKKAH: A committee from the Ministry of Social Affairs has opened an investigation into the escape of 12 females from an orphanage in Makkah on Saturday. The escapees alleged that they had been abused by the newly appointed director which resulted in them fleeing the orphanage.
One of the escapees who spoke to Okaz/Saudi Gazette on condition of anonymity said, “[We] escaped from the orphanage at 8:00 P.M. because of the humiliating treatment by the orphanage’s director.”
She claimed that the orphanage’s director used abusive words to describe them. “Most of the inmates are suffering mentally and physically from the ill-treatment of the new staff led by the newly appointed director. The new director has replaced the old staff we love very much.”
She said the inmates are miserable at a time when most of them should be preparing for their final university examinations.
The National Society for Human Rights in Makkah said the Ministry of Social Affairs has formed an urgent fact-finding committee to look into the causes of the escape of the females from the back gate of the orphanage.
Hanim Yarkandi, the orphanage’s director, has categorically denied the claims.
However, Matouq Al-Shareef, a member of the society in Makkah, has confirmed that the society has received repeated calls for help from some of the escapees.
He said the root cause of the problem is that the director replaced the old staff who were well-liked by the girls.
“The situation worsened further when the girls chanted against the new director and threw a shoe at her. The girls’ riot resulted from the great psychological pressure they have been under by the Chairperson of Umm Al-Qura Society, who is also the director of the orphanage. This development took place when the director forced the previous director Raba Al-Meflih to resign, placing great psychological pressure on the inmates,” he said.


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