The Indonesian government is filing an official protest against Saudi Arabia after Tuti Tursilawati, a female Indonesian migrant worker, was executed in Saudi Arabia on October 29 for allegedly killing her employer in self-defense. Tursilawati claimed she was being sexually abused by her employer and has spent the past seven years on death row in Saudi Arabia. The Indonesian Government attempted to appeal the death sentence in court and in a letter to the Saudi Arabian King to no avail. The execution occurred without notifying the Indonesian consular, making it the fourth execution of an Indonesian migrant without notice in the past three years.
Tursilawati’s execution occurred one week after Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister met with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister and Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, to discuss migrant workers’ rights and the importance of mandatory consular notification before fulfilling death penalties. In early October, Jakarta and Riyadh signed a new agreement to jointly supervise, monitor, and evaluate Indonesian workers in Saudi Arabia. However, after Tursilawati’s execution, Indonesia’s Migrant Care advocacy group urges the Indonesian government to cancel the agreement, saying “the execution is evidence that Saudi Arabia does not fulfill the terms and conditions pertaining to the protection of domestic workers.”
Saudi Arabia is the world’s top destination for Indonesian domestic workers. However, Saudi Arabia’s treatment of migrant workers, which many activists have referred to as “modern-day slavery,” has been the target of major international criticism. There are currently 18 other Indonesians on death row in Saudi Arabia.
Newswire Sources: ABC News 10/31; Newsweek 10/31