Indonesia protests to Saudi over execution of maid convicted of murder

Tuti Tursilawati

Image via Tribun News

Tursilawati was sentenced to death in 2011 on charges of deliberately killing the father of her employer Suud Mulhak Al Utaibi in 2010.

Saudi authorities executed Tuti Tursilawati on Monday without informing the Indonesian government, Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Before her death, Tursilawati's family had flown out to Taif in Saudi Arabia to bid farewell to the abuse victim.

'We have called Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and conveyed our protest, ' Mr Widodo was quoted as saying by the office of his cabinet secretary.

Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

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

The execution comes just a week after Marsudi met with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to discuss migrant workers' rights.

During the meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi emphasised the importance of having a mandatory consular notification before carrying out death penalties.

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An Indonesian migrant worker, Muhammad Zaini Misrin, was executed in March this year for killing his employer, and two Indonesian female domestic workers, Siti Zaenab and Karni, were beheaded in April 2015.

Tuti Tursilawati was sentenced to death in 2011 for murdering her employerin Saudi Arabia, despite claiming she was acting in self-defence because he was abusing her. The moratorium was lifted in June this year.

The Migrant CARE advocacy group has called on Indonesia's Manpower Ministry to cancel a recent agreement with Saudi Arabia to send Indonesian migrant workers to the kingdom in limited numbers, following the execution of Indonesian worker Tuti Tursilawati on Monday.

Boby, a representative of the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union, said Saudi Arabia has poor working conditions for migrant workers, with no transparency and a lack of direct intervention by the government.

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

Boby said he expects the Indonesian government to include several clauses in an global convention on migrant worker protection in the upcoming memorandum of understanding between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

"These reforms do not address the long history of workers coming forward with complaints, only to be slammed with counter-allegations of theft, witchcraft or adultery by their far more influential, well-connected and often wealthy employers", Nisha Varia from HRW's women's rights division said.

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