Suspects in maid’s murder held

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The sister of a Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis whose body was found inside a freezer in Kuwait, throws herself at her sibling's coffin. AFP/TED ALJIBE

BEIRUT (AFP) – The employers of Joanna Demafelis, a Filipina maid found dead in a freezer in Kuwait, were both arrested in the Syrian capital Damascus, Lebanese and Philippine officials said on Saturday. Syrian authorities surrendered Nader Essam Assaf to Beirut on Friday because of his Lebanese citisenship but his Syrian wife Mona remains in custody in Damascus. The murder of Demafelis sparked outrage in the Philippines and prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to impose departure ban on Filipinos planning to work in Kuwait. Demafelis’ body, which allegedly showed signs of torture, was found earlier this month inside a freezer in the abandoned apartment unit of the detained couple.

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