Indonesia protests over Saudi execution


The Indonesian government plans to lodge a protest with Saudi Arabia following the execution of an Indonesian migrant worker.

Ruyati Binti Satubi was beheaded in the city of Mecca last Saturday following a trial in which she confessed to the murder of her employer’s wife last year.

Rights acitivists say there is evidence Ruyati suffered abuse while working in Saudi Arabia.

They say her own government in Jakarta did not do enough to try to save her.


Jakarta is recalling its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, which it says did not allow adequate consular access in contravention of international law.

Both Indonesia and the executed woman’s family say they were not officially infomred of the execution. The family had to hear about it from a foreign language newspaper in Saudi Arabia.

Teuku Faizasyah, the Indonesian presidential spokesman for international relations, told Radio Australia’s¬†Asia Pacific¬†program that under the Geneva Convention, any government must give prior notification to its counterpart government in such a case.

“We tried our best . . . to lessen the sentence,” he said.

Not enough

But Anis Hidayat, executive director of Migrant Care, Indonesia, said the government did not provide enough support in the case or oppose the death penalty strongly enough.

Even now the government cannot say who Ruyati’s lawyer was, she says.

How could it have saved the accused woman? She believes the government should have maximised legal assistance to Ruyati and the President should have negotiated with Saudi leaders how to free her.

Ms Hidayat campaigns against the death penalty in Indonesia and elsewhere.

More than 300 Indonesians are facing the death penalty overseas – 22 more in Saudi Arabia and many more in Malaysia.