Stop executions of Indonesian migrant workers!

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Migrant CARE Press Release

In response to the beheading of Karni Bt Medi Tarsim, an Indonesian migrant worker from Brebes who worked in Saudi Arabia

President JOKOWI Please don’t be quiet! Stop executions of Indonesian migrant workers!!!

We were still mourning the beheading of Siti Zaenab two days before, when today Thursday 16 April 2015 the Saudi government executed another Indonesian migrant worker from Brebes, Karni Bt Medi Tarsim, without prior notification to the Indonesian government and Karni’s family. This is a big blow to everyone and deeply hurts the nation.

Karni Bt Medi Tarsim, from Brebes, was sentenced to death (qishas) by the Umum Yanbu Court in March 2013 with the court decision No. 34206523 for murdering her employer’s child. The overall working condition of migrant domestic workers in Saudi Arabia is unacceptable. They are forced to work for more than 18 hours a day, without a day off and denied communication with the outside world. This inhumane treatment by the employer is one of the main reasons that prompted desperate actions including murder as in the cases of Darsem, Ruyati, Satinah dan Siti Zaenab.

The Saudi government was cruel in executing a succession of Indonesian migrant workers without observing diplomatic courtesy commonly found in the relation between nations.

Migrant CARE is deeply disappointed and condemns that cruelty. The Indonesian government should stop the niceties and protest the Saudi government in the strongest possible way. The Indonesian government has to take diplomatic actions as far as expelling the Saudi ambassador immediately, scaling down the diplomatic relationship with the Arab Kingdom and postponing any bilateral collaborations between the two countries.

These executions only confirm the failure of Indonesian diplomacy to protect and serve migrant workers. It has become a nightmare waiting to happen to all migrant workers. The fact that the Indonesian government itself practices death penalty does not help this already weak effort.

Migrant CARE urges President JOKOWI to take action directly by leading the diplomatic effort to protect migrant workers and free those on death row, just like what the late President Abdurrahman Wahid did. This is urgent because at the moment tens of other Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and other countries are waiting to be executed. As the leader of government and the state, President JOKOWI is fully responsible for the safety and wellbeing of Indonesian citizens abroad as well as for the dignity of the country.