30 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 06/10/2013
Jeddah: Indonesian immigrants storm their consulate for visa, one dead and three injured
by Mathias Hariyadi
At least 12,000 workers were waiting to regularise their position. A combination of heat, red tape and inefficient service sparked unrest with the building attacked and set on fire. After the case of the woman beheaded in 2011, immigration to the Saudi kingdom is back in the news.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A woman is dead, three people are slightly injured and dozens more fainted during yesterday's attack against the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, closed by local authorities for security reasons.

In recent days, thousands of Indonesian migrant workers had camped inside the building, waiting to regularise their position and get the necessary permits to avoid expulsion. However, the slow pace of operations and excessive red tape proved too much for many immigrants who went on a rampage, throwing stones and other objects and setting partitions and walls on fire.

For the first time in its history, an Indonesian diplomatic mission has been the object of violence, something that has caused dismay and concern at home, but did not surprise those who know the inner workings and shortcomings of Indonesia's bureaucracy, notorious for its corruption, bribes and favours, for passport applications or other documents, both at home and abroad.

The situation has worsened in Indonesian diplomatic offices in Saudi Arabia, because of Saudi crackdown on migrant workers. Since 1 April, at least 180,000 illegal workers (380,000 since the start of the year) have left the country, taking advantage of a special "immunity" that allows them to leave the country without the payment of a penalty.

When violence broke out, some 12,000 people were waiting at the consulate to fill out the paperwork to get a residence permit after the Saudi government set a 3 July deadline for applicants.

The looming deadline prompted workers to storm the building, which could not contain such a large crowd. Heat, lack of water and ventilation did the rest, causing some people to faint and others to protest until some revolted.

The question of residence permits is part of a bigger picture, which touches the lives of Indonesian citizens across the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, where they are appreciated for the quality of their work and their "low-cost" but where they are also victims of abuse and violence.

The issue of migrant workers has repeatedly caused tensions between Jakarta and Riyadh as well as Indonesia and Malaysia. The beheading of Ruyati Binti Satubi Saruna in 2011 and more recent cases of abuse, sexual violence and violations of Saudi Arabia's immigration law have exacerbated the problem.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/27/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Riding a bicycle from Rome to Makkah, bringing a message from the Pope
04/15/2014 SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi court shuts down liberal forum
09/25/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
First Saudi university to allow men and women together
11/26/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
The Accolade, Saudi Arabia’s first all-girl rock band
12/02/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Fear of epidemic looms over Jeddah as flood-related bodies are still unburied

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.