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Yudhoyono urged to help stop beheading of Indonesian in Saudi Arabia

Publication Date : 24-03-2014


With less than two weeks before an Indonesian migrant worker is beheaded in Saudi Arabia, various organizations have called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to intervene in the case.

“We urge the President to directly intervene and save Satinah (binti Jumadi Ahmad) from the death penalty,” Tumbu Saraswati of the Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) said on Sunday, referring to the Semarang, Central Java native on death row in Saudi Arabia.

Tumbu went on to say the government should improve its weak track record by enhancing protection for Indonesians overseas, mostly uneducated domestic workers.

Similarly, the Indonesian Migrant Workers Association (ATKI) criticized the government, saying despite Manpower and Transmigration Ministry efforts to develop a placement and protection system and a 400-hour skills training program, migrant workers did not receive enough official support.

 ATKI member Karsiwen, who is in charge of advocacy in Sartinah’s case, said most migrant workers had no knowledge of transmigration laws and were not given comprehensive protection by the government.

 Meanwhile, Nelson Simamora, a public advocate from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), said the government provided next to nothing in terms of legal aid.

 And with the current weak government policy, Nelson said there would be dire consequences for future cases.

 “There will be another 1,000 Indonesian migrant workers (who will be) executed next year if there is no change,” Nelson told The Jakarta Post.

Satinah had confessed to the murder of her employer, Nura Al-Gharib, in Gaseem, Saudi Arabia, and the theft of 37,970 riyals (US$10,120), in June 2007.

She was sentenced to be executed in 2010, but after appealing her sentence in 2009, the date was pushed back to April 3, 2014.

Satinah would be absolved if the Indonesian government paid 7 million riyals for diyat (financial retribution to a victim’s kin), which is equal to 22.5 billion rupiah ($1.97 million), surpassing the last diyat reportedly paid in a similar case.

So far, 4 million riyals have been raised from allocated state funds, donors and charities to save Satinah from death by beheading.

Satinah’s family has also made efforts to communicate with the victim’s family to plea for clemency.

Last month, the governments of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide better working conditions for Indonesian workers in the Kingdom.


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