Jakarta (AsiaNews) – There has been another beheading in Saudi Arabia, the second in less than a week at the expense of a migrant worker of Indonesian origin; a few days after the death of Siti Zaenab, it was the turn of Karni binti Medi Tarsim who was executed yesterday morning in a Saudi prison.
Once again the Saudi authorities notified the Indonesian government after the fact. Human rights activists and organizations working with migrants are launching an appeal to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, to take immediate action to protect the health and rights of Indonesian workers abroad, especially those who are on row death.
The news of the death of Karni binti Medi Tarsim, originally from Brebes, in central Java, has caused deep shock and grief across the country. Civil society is in revolt and calling for justice and rights for its citizens abroad, from government and President Jokowi. Anis Hidayah, executive director of the Center for the care of migrants, says the news is "painful" and “hurts us, because Indonesian people. The Saudi government is really brutal, for having executed two migrant workers one after another. "
Karni binti Medi Tarsim was beheaded yesterday morning; in 2013 a Saudi court had sentenced her to death, charging her with the murder of her employers four year old son.
The story of 40-year old Satinah Binti Djumadhad a different ending. She was also on death row in Saudi Arabia on charges of murdering his employer in 2007 - in response to mistreatment - and stealing about 10 thousand dollars. The intervention in this case by the then President Yudhoyono and timely payment of a sum of money - a sort of "bribe" called Blood Money - had saved the woman's life.
In Saudi Arabia, there are at least 1.2 million Indonesians, 70% of whom are employed as servants or domestic workers. Among these, there are 36 people sentenced to death and awaiting execution. There is a strict version of Sharia law in vigor in Saudi Arabia, which punishes several crimes including rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking with death.