A call to seek justice for Adelina - FreedomUnited.org

A call to seek justice for Adelina

Adelina Lisao’s case has captured the attention of many across the world. Adelina was a young Indonesian domestic worker who passed away on February 11, 2018 due to organ failure as a result of allegedly suffering physical and emotional abuse and forced labor at the hands of her employers in a private home for two years.

Adelina was found with a swollen face, bruises all over her body and pus-filled wounds, a result of the burns on her arms and legs. Due to the extent of her injuries which were left untreated, her employers forced her to sleep outside in the compound with the dog to prevent “dirtying the home” from her weeping wounds.

By the time Adelina was admitted to hospital, it was evident that she was on borrowed time and she passed away only a day after she was rescued.

The High Court, evoking Section 254(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, acquitted Adelina’s employer, Ambika MA Shan, on grounds of health concerns and lack of evidence despite the deputy Public Prosecutor’s request for a discharge not amounting to acquittal.

A year later, the bench in the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision put forth by the High Court, claiming that the decision was not erroneous. This decision was a regressive step for the Malaysian justice system – it conveyed a severely harmful message condoning heinous acts of abuse and exploitation. The climate of impunity afforded to those undeserving of it must be put to an end.

This petition demands for Adelina’s employer, Ambika MA Shan, to be charged separately under Section 304 of the Penal Code which provides for deaths caused by culpable homicide not amounting to murder or those caused by negligence. The prosecution is looking to correct this grave miscarriage of justice.

A person is dead and her blood is on all our hands. Allowing for perpetrators such as Ambika to walk free makes us all complicit in the death of Adelina and many others who shared the same fate.

Adelina’s life is the sad reality of thousands more domestic workers who are susceptible to all forms of exploitation, and it is high time that we make an effort to increase protection for all domestic workers.

We hope that you will join us in seeking justice as we believe that we owe it to Adelina and her family to protect her dignity in her absence.

Signing this petition is a step forward in preserving the integrity of our justice system and ensuring that it provides protection due to all and especially the marginalized and vulnerable.

  • September 25, 2020: The Attorney General’s Chambers has given 14 days for an appeal to be filed against the decision of the Court of Appeal. Please support this petition as a sign of protest against a system which has unjustly penalized and denied domestic workers of their fundamental liberties.

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emilie dornaus
emilie dornaus
1 year ago

This acquittal is so wrong and destroy my faith in the Malaysian Legal System!!! I will have to think twice before going on holidays in Malaysia I!!

Anne Mullane
Anne Mullane
1 year ago

How terribly, terribly sad! The decisions of Malaysia’s courts defy logic. This poor girl and her family must have justice though her agony, misery and hopelessness will never be redeemed. How completely alone she must have felt! Shame on the horrific actions of the employer – SHAME! They must be punished and seen to be punished!

Peacock Louise
Peacock Louise
1 year ago

Sad and disgusting as this is, I know it is common for employers in these countries (and here in north America) to inflict abuse on their employees.

This is a cultural outlook. Servants are regarded basically as slaves, and have no rights in the eyes of their abusive employers. I know for a fact that this sort of thing has happened right here in Canada.

This attitude cannot and should not be tolerated.

This employer needs to be punished. The Malaysian courts are a travesty.

1 year ago


Luzia Soares
1 year ago

It is just the way some people do thinking that they are untouchable. They are not. Justice for Adelina and anyone like her that suffers the arrogance of some people, will come surely, by the hands of God and by the hands of the men! Nobody get6s away wsith abuse of vulnerable people or any creature.

Call on Malaysia's Attorney General to secure justice for Adelina

Help us reach 15,000 actions

Dear Attorney General, Idru Harun:

I urge you to secure justice for Adelina.

Adelina’s death should serve as a wake-up call to urgently implement protections for all domestic workers and ensure migrant workers are protected from exploitation and abuse.


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