Condemn the execution of Tuti, Indonesia migrant domestic worker

No dead penalty against migrant domestic workers in Saudi Arabia! 



IDWF and JALA PRT, Indonesia condemn the execution against Tuti Tursilawati, an Indonesian migrant domestic worker in Saudi Arabia on October 29.  She was convicted of murdering her employer while ‘defending herself’ from physical and sexual abuse. For whatever reason, we believe that death sentence is a violation of the most basic human rights.  International organizations such as the Amnesty International have been calling for its abolishment for a long time.  Government authorities must realize that our criminal justice system can be fallible.  Death penalty must end!

Tuti is not the first to face such injustice. There are currently 18 Indonesian migrant workers on death row in Saudi Arabia. During the years of 2008 – 2018, Indonesian government recorded five Indonesian domestic workers executed in Saudi Arabia without prior notification. Four of them were women with almost the same case of ‘self-defence’. This clearly points to the serious flaw in the justice system avail to migrant domestic workers who are predominantly women.

Saudi Arabia is home to over 780,000 migrant domestic workers, many of them are from Indonesia.  Majorities work in vulnerable conditions, without any basic labour rights protection.

Despite the economic contribution, both governments in the countries of origin such as Indonesia and in Saudi Arabia never protect the migrant domestic workers at home and when they work abroad.   All these countries, with exception of the Philippines, have not ratified the C189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.  Migrant domestic workers are left uninformed before they leave their own countries. Without legal protection, employers are given privileged position to make domestic workers work excessive hour, limit their freedom and pay them whatever rate.  Under the Kafala System, migrant domestic workers are treated as property of the employer than a worker and a human being. Migrant domestic workers are not commodities to satisfy Saudi Arabian demands. The governments must act now!

We condemn the barbarous act of the Saudi Arabian government in executing Tuti.  We strongly demand all the governments in the countries of origin, especially the Indonesian government and the Saudi Arabian governments to:

  1. Abolish death penalty for migrant domestic workers, including the 18 Indonesia migrant domestic workers, ensure they have fair and just investigation and trials;
  2. Immediately take concrete steps to ratify and implement the C189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers to ensure all domestic workers, locals and migrants are treated as workers;
  3. To abolish the Kafala System in wherever its exists in the employment of migrant domestic workers;
  4. To reform the legal system, to amend all flaws pertaining to all legal injustices to women and migrant domestic workers,  and to ensure their fair and easy access to the legal system; and no prosecution over victims of abuse.
  5. To conduct serious evaluation and assessment on migrant domestic placement scheme to Saudi Arabia and other countries which practice Kafala System in the employment of migrant domestic workers.

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