Saudi Arabia: Migrant Domestics Killed by Employers (Saudi Arabia: PRT Migran Dibunuh Majikan)

Posted on September 9, 2007

1


Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)

Brutal Beatings and Killings Symptomatic of Wider Abuse

(New York, August 17, 2007) – The killing of two Indonesian domestic workers by their employers in Saudi Arabia highlights the Saudi government’s ongoing failure to hold employers accountable for serious abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. The brutal beatings by these employers also left two other Indonesian domestic workers critically injured.

Seven members of a Saudi family who employed the four Indonesian women as domestic workers beat them in early August after accusing them of practicing “black magic” on the family’s teenage son. Siti Tarwiyah Slamet, 32, and Susmiyati Abdul Fulan, 28, died from their injuries. Ruminih Surtim, 25, and Tari Tarsim, 27, are receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of Riyadh Medical Complex. Saudi authorities have detained the employers.

“The brutal killings of these Indonesian domestic workers occurred in an atmosphere of impunity fostered by government inaction,” said Nisha Varia, senior researcher in the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. “Not only do the authorities typically fail to investigate or prosecute abusive employers, the criminal justice system also obstructs abused workers from seeking redress.”

Approximately 2 million women from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and other countries are employed as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. They are routinely underpaid, overworked, confined to the workplace, or subject to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch said. Despite being victims of abuse themselves, many domestic workers are subject to counteraccusations, including theft, adultery or fornication in cases of rape or witchcraft.

During visits to Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka in November and December, Human Rights Watch interviewed Sri Lankan domestic workers sentenced to prison and whipping in Saudi Arabia after their employers had raped and impregnated them. Three months ago, an Indonesian domestic worker in al-Qasim province was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for witchcraft, a reduction from an original sentence of death. The Indonesian embassy did not learn about the arrest, detention or trial of the worker until one month after the sentencing.

Whether as victims or defendants, foreigners confront several serious problems in getting a fair investigation or trial in Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system. Many migrant workers do not have access to interpreters, legal aid or basic information about their cases. The Saudi government often takes months or years to inform foreign missions if their nationals have been arrested or hospitalized, preventing them from extending badly needed assistance.

Cases often drag on for years. Nour Miyati, an Indonesian domestic worker, sustained serious injuries and lost her fingers due to gangrene in 2005 after her employer locked her up, physically and verbally abused her and deprived her of food. She then faced a countercharge of making false accusations against her employer, and was sentenced to 79 lashes. A court subsequently overturned that conviction and sentence, but she still awaits a final monetary settlement from her employer and the ability to return home to Indonesia after her ordeal.

[more]

Please click here to read the whole article.

Indonesian Translation:

(New York, 17 Agustus 2007) – Pembunuhan dua orang pekerja rumah tangga (PRT) migran asal Indonesia oleh majikan mereka di Arah Saudi menggarisbawahi berlanjutnya kegagalan pemerintah Arab Saudi dalam memastikan pertanggungjawaban majikan atas penganiayaan serius yang mereka lakukan; demikian Human Rights Watch melaporkan hari ini. Pemukulan brutal yang dilakukan oleh majikan tersebut juga mengakibatkan dua orang PRT asal Indonesia lainnya menderita luka parah.

Tujuh orang anggota keluarga di Arab Saudi yang memperkerjakan empat orang PRT asal Indonesia memukuli pekerjanya tersebut pada awal bulan Agustus setelah menuduh mereka mempraktekkan “ilmu hitam” terhadap anak mereka yang masih remaja. Siti Tarwiyah Slamet, 32, dan Susmiyati Abdul Fulan, 28, meninggal karena luka-luka yang dideritanya. Ruminih Surtim, 25, dan Tari Tarsim, 27, sedang berada dalam perawatan unit intensif di Riyadh Medical Complex. Pihak berwenang Saudi telah menahan majikan tersebut.

“Pembunuhan brutal PRT asal Indonesia terjadi dalam situasi impunitas yang menguat akibat tidak adanya tindakan apapun dari pemerintah,” ujar Nisha Varia, periset senior dari Divisi Hak Perempuan Human Rights Watch. “Pihak berwenang bukan hanya gagal dalam menyelidiki atau memproses secara hukum para majikan yang melakukan penganiayaan, tetapi sistem peradilan pidana juga menghalangi upaya para pekerja yang mengalami penganiayaan dalam meminta ganti rugi”.  

 

Advertisements