Migrant Care, an advocacy group for Indonesian migrant workers, today conveyed the tragic news that an Indonesian domestic worker by the name of Tuty Tursilawati was executed yesterday in Saudi Arabia after being sentenced to death eight years ago for murdering her employer.
“Migrant Care strongly condemns the execution of Tuty Tursilawati. This adds to Saudi’s horrible record [on human rights] amid calls from the international community for an explanation for the death of Jamal Khashoggi,” Migrant Care Executive Director Wahyu Susilo told CNN Indonesia today.
According to Wahyu, he received news about Tuty’s execution from Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which he said had not been notified by the Saudi government about the execution until after it was carried out.
“According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tuty was executed on October 29, 2018 and Indonesian representatives [in Saudi] were not notified,” he said.
Indonesia’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Agus Maftuh Abegebriel, confirmed that Tuty, who was born in 1984 in the Majalengka regency of West Java, had been executed.
Tuty was one of 16 Indonesian nationals on death row in Saudi Arabia. She was arrested in 2010 and eventually sentenced to death for the murder of her employer, which she claimed was done in self defense to protect herself from sexual abuse.
In March of this year, another Indonesian migrant worker, Zaini Misri, was also executed in Saudi Arabia without prior notice to Indonesian officials. The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry then acknowledged that Saudi was not legally required to notify Indonesia about the execution, but the ministry nevertheless issued a diplomatic note of protest to their government.
Zaini’s execution also strengthened Indonesia’s conviction to resume its moratorium on migrant workers being sent to the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. However, a Migrant Care survey showed that many Indonesian migrant workers defied the ban — issued in 2015 — to find work in the Middle East, despite widespread abuse of domestic workers in the region.