ibusinesslines.com December 10, 2018

Indonesia protests execution of migrant worker in Saudi

03 November 2018, 01:27 | Erica Roy

Tuti Tursilawati a mother of one was convicted of murdering her employer

Tuti Tursilawati a mother of one was convicted of murdering her employer

President Joko Widodo said he called Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, to lodge a protest and demand to know why Indonesia had not been informed about the execution of the woman, Tuti Tursilawati.

Under Saudi Arabia's sharia law, drug trafficking, rape and murder are all punishable by death.

Amid all the grieving with each report of an execution, we sense helplessness on Indonesia's part.

"President Joko Widodo has the authority to summon the Saudi ambassador in Indonesia to ask for clarification and deliver an official protest", Usman said.

Tuti Tursilawati, a maid, was executed on Monday in the city of Thaif, seven years killing her boss in an act of alleged self defence from a sexual abuse attack.

Marsudi added that the death penalty took place despite the Indonesian government's attempts to provide "maximum legal assistance" by appealing Tursilawati's death sentence in court and sending a letter to King Salman in Saudi Arabia.

Tursilawati's d‌‌e‌at‌‌h is the fourth case in three years where Saudi Arabia failed to notify Jakarta when carrying out exe‌cutio‌ns of Indonesian migra‌nt workers on de‌‌‌at‌‌h‌ row, which there are now 18.

The majority of Indonesian female migrant workers head to Saudi Arabia, with an estimated one million Indonesian women working in Saudi Arabia in 2014, the vast majority of them employed as domestic workers.

Indonesian advocacy group Migrant Care said in September that Ms Tuti Tursilawati had been defending herself from being raped.

Many Indonesians have sought work in Saudi Arabia anyway.The two countries agreed last month to ease those restrictions, allowing a limited number of Indonesian workers to go to Saudi Arabia.

Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said the government must take proactive steps to protest the Saudi government as the kingdom has violated diplomatic ethics between the two countries for the umpteenth time.

There are now 18 Indonesian migrant workers on death row in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi embassy in Jakarta did not answer calls seeking comment.

The Saudi execution also occurred just a week after a meeting in Jakarta to discuss migrant workers' rights between Mr al-Jubeir, his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, and President Widodo.

The female migrant worker's was killed nearly a week after Jubeir visited Indonesia and signed a series of memorandums.

"It turned out that Indonesia's request [to protect the rights of migrant workers] was ignored by executing Tuti".

Observors say Indonesia is unable to criticize other countries that uphold capital punishment without appearing hypocritical.

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