Indonesian Minister Still Waiting for Saudi Visa to Investigate Torture Case


Sumiati, a domestic worker from West Nusa Tenggara who had been tortured by her Arab master, was taken to King Fadh hospital in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday (20/11). Sumiati ordeal in the hand of her employer becomes one of many such unresolved cases until now. (PHOTO ANTARA/Saptono/Kunto)



November 22, 2010. Jakarta (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA GLOBE) — The head of an Indonesian inter-ministerial team established to ensure justice for tortured migrant worker Sumiati still does not have a visa to enter Saudi Arabia where the abuse took place.

Linda Gumelar, the state minister for women’s empowerment and child protection, confirmed on Monday that she was still waiting for a visa to be allowed to enter the country.

“A ministerial-level visa not only needs to be approved by the Saudi Embassy in Indonesia but also by authorities in Saudi Arabia,” she told the Jakarta Globe said, refusing to speculate on the reasons why the process appeared stalled.

“Let’s not think negatively. I heard the Saudi government hasn’t approved my visa because it is still a holiday there. Today the government just resumed their activities,” she said.

She did concede, however, that Saudi authorities had granted visas to other members of her team.

“Several members of my team have departed for Saudi and we have kept in close contact. I have also met with the Saudi ambassador who promised to help speed up my visa,” she said.

Linda was instructed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to lead an inter-ministerial team to help deliver justice is served for Sumiati, 23, whose shocking injuries again highlighted the abuse of female migrant workers in the Middle East.

Muhaimin Iskandar, the minister of manpower and transmigration, meanwhile, said the body of Kikim Komalasari, an Indonesian worker who was allegedly killed by her employers in Saudi Arabia, would be flown home to Cianjur, West Java, next week.

“A team from the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BNP2TKI) has arrived in Jeddah to take care of the administration to take the body back home to Indonesia,” Muhaimin told state news agency Antara.

Kikim’s brutalized body was found in the dumpster last week. Her neck was slashed and she had severe cuts to the rest of her body. Saudi Police alleged she was murdered by her employers.

Muhaimin threatened to withdraw the licenses of labor supply agencies (PJTKI) that sent migrant workers abroad internationally.

“Every PJTKI supplying problematic migrant workers will be sanctioned and their licenses will be frozen,” he said.  (*)

JG, Antara

Government responsible over Sumiati abuse in Saudi Arabia, says Speaker of Indonesia People's Consultative Assembly

Taufik Kiemas, Speaker of Indonesia People's Consultative Assembly ( Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat / MPR)

Please also visit : KATAKAMI.BLOGSPOT.COM

November 18, 2010. Jakarta (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Taufik Kiemas has demanded that the government take responsibility for a recent case of maid abuse in Saudi Arabia. He also asked the relevant officials to directly tackle the problem.

Taufik said he regretted that the government had not learned from previous cases of abuse of maids and had not insisted on stricter regulations that would guarantee workers’ safety in Saudi Arabia. He said stricter regulations could be implemented in many other countries where Indonesians worked.

Photo : Sumiati


“I think this is the time for Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar and National Indonesian Workers Placement and Protection Agency head Jumhur Hidayat to take firm action. Please do something meaningful for our workers there,” he said.

An Indonesian worker by the name of Sumiati was recently sent to King Fahd Hospital in Saudi Arabia with severe wounds allegedly inflicted by her employer there. (*)

Indonesian Minister Heads to Saudi over Maid Torture


Indonesia's Women's Affairs Minister Mrs. Linda Agum Gumelar

Please also visit : KATAKAMI.BLOGSPOT.COM

November 18, 2010. Jakarta (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA GLOBE) — Indonesia’s women’s affairs minister will fly to Saudi Arabia on Friday to check on the investigation into the brutal torture of an Indonesian maid, the foreign minister said.

Linda Agum Gumelar will lead an inter-ministerial team to ensure justice for Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, whose shocking injuries highlighted the abuse of female migrant workers in the Middle East.

“As ordered by the president (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono), justice must be upheld,” foreign ministry spokesman Michael Tene told AFP.

Gumelar will visit Sumiati in a hospital in the Saudi city of Medina where she has been recuperating since November 8 from injures including deep cuts to her lips and face allegedly inflicted with scissors.

Photo : Sumiati

Amnesty International appealed to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states on Wednesday to do more to protect migrant domestic workers in the oil-rich kingdom.

The London-based human rights watchdog said the maid’s treatment, which Yudhoyono on Tuesday described as “extraordinary torture,” symbolized the plight of foreign workers in the region.

“Women who go to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to be domestic workers face abuse and exploitation,” the watchdog’s Middle East and North Africa director, Malcolm Smart, said.

“At the root of the problem is the failure of the governments of the Gulf states to uphold the rights of women migrant domestic workers.

“Workers from countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka underpin the Gulf states’ economies — it is high time that they got a fair deal,” he said.

Indonesia summoned Saudi ambassador Abdulrahman Alkhayat on Monday to express its deep concern.

The envoy on Thursday said what happened to Sumiati was “barbaric”.

He said no arrests had been made as a result of the ongoing investigation, and rejected suggestions that such abuse was all-too common in his country, saying he would “pray to God” to prevent similar abuses in future.

“We haven’t made any arrest and we have to wait for the result of the investigation,” he told a news conference in Jakarta.

“There are more than one million Indonesian workers in Saudi. What happened to Sumiati is a very rare occurrence and we pray to God that this won’t happen again.”

Agence-France Presse


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