Saudi Arabia executes female migrant worker without informing Indonesian Government



October 31, 2018 16:22:05

Saudi Arabia has executed an Indonesian female migrant worker without first informing the Indonesian Government, according to Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Key points:

  • Tuti Tursilawati was sentenced to death in 2011 for murdering her employer in Saudi Arabia
  • There are 18 Indonesian migrant workers on death row in Saudi Arabia
  • Indonesia calls for thorough probe into Jamal Khashoggi’s death

Monday’s execution in the city of Thaif marked the fourth time Saudi Arabia failed to give notice before carrying out a death penalty on an Indonesian migrant worker in the past three years and came as the middle-eastern nation faced calls to explain the death of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Tuti Tursilawati was sentenced to death in 2011 for murdering her employer in Saudi Arabia, which she claimed was in self-defence against sexual abuse.

The death sentence was also carried out just a week after Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, met with his Indonesian counterpart and President Joko Widodo in Jakarta 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.

Indonesia’s Government also called for a thorough probe into the death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest destination for Indonesian maids and earlier this month, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia signed a new agreement allowing both countries to “supervise, monitor, and evaluate” the workers.

After Ms Tursilawati’s execution, the executive director at Indonesia’s Migrant Care advocacy group called on Indonesia’s Government to cancel the agreement.

“[The execution] is evidence that Saudi Arabia does not fulfil the terms and conditions pertaining to the protection of domestic workers,” Wahyu Susilo told the ABC in a text message.

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

Mr Susilo condemned the execution and urged the President to take “serious” diplomatic steps to prevent future uninformed executions.

Ms Marsudi told a press conference at the Our Ocean conference in Bali on Tuesday she had lodged an official complaint about Ms Tursilawati’s execution with the country’s Saudi Arabia ambassador, Osama al-Shuaibi.

The death penalty was carried out despite the Indonesian Government’s efforts to provide “maximum legal assistance” by appealing against Ms Tursilawati’s death sentence both in court and in a letter to the Saudi Arabian King, Ms Marsudi said.

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

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.







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