Saudi Ambassador Apologizes in Beheading of Indonesian Maid

Posted June 22nd, 2011 at 7:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Indonesia says the Saudi government has apologized for failing to provide proper notice before it executed an Indonesian maid who murdered her employer in the Middle East country.

A government spokesman said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia's ambassador offered the apology during a meeting in Jakarta on Monday with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. The minister handed the ambassador a formal letter of protest during the meeting.

Indonesian lawmakers called for new restrictions on the export of domestic laborers following the incident, in which a 54-year-old maid was beheaded with a sword on Saturday. Indonesia says the Saudi government violated international law by failing to provide proper notice so the maid could receive consular representation.

The maid, Ruyati Binti Satubi, is reported to have slain her female employer with repeated strikes with a knife or a meat cleaver. Indonesian officials say there is evidence she had been subjected to abuse by her employer and that she was prevented from returning to her family in Jakarta.

The Indonesian government is under pressure from lawmakers to do more to protect citizens who go abroad as domestic helpers to places like Malaysia and the Middle East. Many are subjected to forced confinement and physical and sexual abuse; a couple in Malaysia was charged this month with murdering their Indonesian maid.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry says more than 200 Indonesian workers are facing death penalties in Malaysia and another 23 in Saudi Arabia, which is host to about 1.2 million Indonesian migrant workers.