Dubai Jails 150 Filipinas for Moonlighting

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 MANILA—Some 150 Filipina workers have been languishing in a Dubai prison cell since last month for working part-time at a wedding reception, in violation of the United Arab Emirates' immigration laws.

The women were arrested while serving as part of the support and catering staff during the reception held at the Dubai World Trade Center on December 10, an overseas Filipino worker, who witnessed their plight firsthand, said Thursday.

“Their families have to be informed about what happened to them. But the problem is they're incommunicado, and the Philippine authorities don't have access to them,” said Nerissa, who asked that her surname be withheld.

Nerissa had been detained for a week on a separate absconding charge, and met the other Filipinas in a large cell that accommodated 200 women prisoners. Upon her release on January 11, she promised the other Filipinas to alert  the Philippine authorities about their case..