Scrap workers deal with Saudi Arabia following execution, says Jakarta NGO

Cheryl Sanders
November 3, 2018

Tursilawati's controversial death comes in the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an outspoken and high profile critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

After the execution, the executive director at Indonesia's Migrant Care advocacy group, Wahyu Susilo, called on Indonesia's government to cancel the agreement.

Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry's director for overseas citizen protection, said Ms. Tuti had spoken to her mother on a video call less than two weeks ago, saying she was healthy and not anxious about being executed, according to The Post.In addition to facing physical abuse, migrant workers often struggle to adjust to the cultural differences in Saudi Arabia, whose strict interpretation of Islamic law forces foreigners to abandon many of their customs.

Tuti Tursilawati, working in the city of Ta'if, was found guilty of killing her employer in June 2011, and was executed on Monday.

Deputy Chairperson of the House of Representatives Commission IX, Ermalena, believes that Saudi Arabia has violated the 1961 Vienna Convention by executing female migrant worker, Tuty Tursilawati, without notifying the Indonesian government.

Tursilawati left for Saudi Arabia in 2009 to seek a better life.

Human Rights advocate Amnesty International Indonesia said Saudi Arabia had damaged the ethics of diplomacy after the execution.

The Saudi ambassador to Indonesia had been summoned to discuss the matter, the president added.

Tursilawati was charged with premeditated murder after she beat her employer's father to death with a stick in 2010, the Jakarta Post reports.

"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ignored principles of human rights, including a right for everyone to live", Abidin Fikri, a member of Indonesia's parliament, said.

This silent execu‌‌t‌io‌n happened just weeks after the visit of Saudi Arabia's foreign minister to Indonesia to meet Widodo and Indonesia foreign minister Retno Marsudi.

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.

"Indonesia should follow in the footsteps of neighboring Malaysia, which recently announced that it would abolish the death penalty for all types of crimes, months after imposing a moratorium on capital punishment", Usman said.

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

In an attempt to prevent such disputes from arising, Indonesia pursued last week a mandatory consular notification agreement with Saudi Arabia, which Iqbal said had been "received positively" by the Saudi delegation.

Other reports by iNewsToday