Published: Sunday 01 April, 2018

Employers of Joanna Demafelis Sentenced to Death by Kuwait Court

Justice for Joanna Demafelis! The employers of Demafelis have been sentenced to death. A Kuwaiti court found her employers guilty of murder for stuffing her body inside a freezer in their Kuwait apartment and leaving her to freeze to death inside.

Joanna Daniela Demafelis

Justice for OFW in freezer Joanna Demafelis.

The sentence was handed down in absentia as the Lebanese and Syrian couple still have not been turned over to Kuwaiti authorities. Nader Essam Assaf and his wife, Mona Hassoun, were arrested last month in Syria after fleeing Kuwait last year. Assaf, a Lebanese, was immediately repatriated to Lebanon where he is in the custody of authorities. Meanwhile, Mona Hassoun is also in custody in Damascus.

According to GMA News, the death sentence can still be appealed but this has to be done personally by Nader Essam Assaf and Mona Hassoun, meaning they have to return to Kuwait or be turned over to Kuwaiti authorities.

Joanna Demafelis grabbed international headlines after her body was discovered inside a freezer. Investigation revealed that she had been inside the freezer for more than a year after her employers fled the country. An autopsy revealed that Demafelis was still alive when she was stuffed inside the freezer.

Alive but already unconscious. Assaf admitted to authorities in Lebanon that he panicked after Joanna Demafelis blacked out due to the beatings she suffered from his wife.

The murder of Demafelis was the last straw for the Duterte administration after a series of abuses and killings befell several OFWs in Kuwait. In February, the Philippines declared an OFW deployment ban to Kuwait, a ban that still stands to this day pending an agreement that must be signed by Kuwaiti authorities assuring the safety of overseas Filipino workers.