Indonesian migrant domestic worker Tuti Tursilawati was executed by beheading by Saudi Arabia on Monday, sparking outrage across Indonesia.
Shockingly, Saudi Arabia did not notify Tursilawati’s family or Indonesian officials about the execution.
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Tursilawati had been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for allegedly beating her employer to death with a stick in self-defense against attempted rape.
She managed to run away, but was then raped instead by nine Saudi men before the police brought her into custody.
Her execution and the ensuring diplomatic row is now sparking calls for Jakarta to scrap a workers’ deal it has with Riyadh.
Asia Pacific Report explains:
Migrant CARE executive director Wahyu Susilo strongly condemned the execution of Tuti by Saudi authorities and urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to take significant diplomatic measures in protest against Riyadh, such as scrapping a pilot project to send a limited number of migrant workers to Saudi Arabia.
“President Jokowi must cancel the agreement between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia on the One Channel System [because the execution is] proof that Saudi Arabia does not fulfill the terms and conditions pertaining to the protection of the rights of migrant domestic workers,” Wahyu said in a statement.
The assured protection of migrant workers’ rights was an explicit requirement in documents signed by Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri and his Saudi counterpart Ahmed Sulaiman Al Rajhi on October 11, the rights activist said.
The One Channel System was a scheme agreed upon by the labour ministers that would allow Indonesia to send a certain number of workers to the Middle Eastern kingdom, bypassing a 2015 moratorium.
This is not the first time an Indonesian migrant worker has been executed by the Saudis, nor is it the first time the Saudis have failed to notify the worker’s family and Indonesian officials prior to the execution.
The problem has become so severe that during a recent joint commission meeting between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi requested the Saudis to provide consular notifications in accordance with the 1963 Vienna Convention on consular relations.
Wahyu added that President Jokowi has previously asked Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir for assurances that Indonesian migrant workers rights would be protected.
“When [President Jokowi] met with the Saudi foreign minister, the President asked Saudi Arabia to provide protection for Indonesian migrant workers and work to resolve the [murder of journalist Jamal] Khashoggi in earnest.”
“It turns out the request was simply ignored.”