Bangladeshi cricketer Shahadat Hossain has turned himself in to a court after more than three weeks of being on the run. The high profile sportsman was remanded in jail on 5 October on charges of torturing an 11-year-old housemaid and employing a minor. The 29-year-old had submitted a bail petition, but the court rejected the plea.
Hossain, who has represented his country in 38 test matches and 51 one-day internationals was suspended by Bangladesh's cricket board from all forms of the game until charges are cleared. Hossain's surrender comes one day after the arrest of his wife, Nritto Shahadat, following a raid at her parents' home in Dhaka on 4 October.
"Shahadat surrendered to the court today. We will now take action in accordance to the directives of the court," Inspector Shafiqur Rahman told AFP. Like her husband, Shahadat was also denied bail by a court and is in custody.
In September, the couple's 11-year-old maid was found crying on the streets of Dhaka and bore physical signs of injury. She informed police and local media that the pair had beaten her and television footage showed her looking sickly with swollen, bruised eyes. According to police, the child had "injury marks on her eyes and some other parts of her body" and her hand had been scorched with a hot cooking paddle.
After reports of alleged child torture surfaced, police launched an intense manhunt for the cricketer. Authorities made daily raids, mobilised 10 teams of officers and tracked Hossain's mobile phone in a bid to apprehend the sportsman and his wife, according to Shafiqur Rahman.
Abuse of domestic workers in south Asia is rife. Bangladesh's 2010 National Child Labour Elimination Policy describes child labour in the country as "prevalent". It also states that minors must be rescued from working conditions if they are forced into labour, become the victim of physical and/or mental torture and sexual exploitation, compelled to do demeaning work, and are hindered from getting an education due to work.
Currently, there are 53 million domestic workers globally (excluding children), according to the International Labour Organization and the number is steadily rising in both developed and developing countries. Of this, 83% of all domestic workers are women, meaning that one in every 13 female wage earners are employed in domestic work.