Indonesia must do more to Protect Nationals from Mistreatment in Saudi Arabia
Preeya Wattana and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Indonesia must do more to protect migrants from this country that work in Saudi Arabia. After all, vast numbers of nationals from Indonesia seek work throughout the Gulf region and obviously Saudi Arabia appears attractive given the possible incomes that may be obtained. However, for many Indonesian nationals, and people from other countries, not all is what it appears. After all, labor laws are minimal, the legal system is brutal, racism is endemic (this reality exists in many nations) and abuse of migrant workers is often brushed under the carpet.
In recent times the brutality of the justice system based on Islamic Sharia law is clear for all Indonesian nationals to see. This applies to the beheading of two Indonesian nationals and the manor in which their killings were carried out. Therefore, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of Indonesia must do more to help Indonesian nationals working in Saudi Arabia.
If Saudi Arabia continues to abuse workers from other nations then clearly it is essential that countries must work together in order to solve the problem. Yet, if Saudi Arabia continues to be belligerent and continues to violate the rights of others then nations like Indonesia must do more.
Mathias Hariyadi, Asian News, reports “The news of the death of Karni binti Medi Tarsim, originally from Brebes, in central Java, has caused deep shock and grief across the country. Civil society is in revolt and calling for justice and rights for its citizens abroad, from government and President Jokowi. Anis Hidayah, executive director of the Center for the care of migrants, says the news is “painful” and “hurts us, because Indonesian people. The Saudi government is really brutal, for having executed two migrant workers one after another.”
It is known that currently you have 26 Indonesian nationals on death row in Saudi Arabia and the worse is feared. Irrespective of the merits of the death penalty depending on each individual case – Indonesia also supports the death penalty – it is clear that conditions are extremely harsh. Also, one can only imagine the fear, alienation, abandonment and the feeling of complete isolation that befalls the individual who will soon perish under a Saudi sword in front of crowds.
Tama Salim and Dylan Amirio, The Jakarta Post, report: “Barely a day after news hit that the Saudi Arabian government had carried out the execution of an Indonesian worker without prior notice to family members and the Indonesian government, another Indonesian was executed for an unpardonable crime.”
They Jakarta Post continue “The head of the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI), Nusron Wahid, said he regretted the lack of notification from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia before the execution of migrant worker Karni binti Medi Tarsim on Thursday morning Saudi time.”
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times says: “Recalling the Saudi Ambassador and limp comments by political leaders in Indonesia isn’t good enough. After all, it is clear that the legal system in Saudi Arabia isn’t based on equality when it applies to non-Muslims and Muslim migrants from the developing world. Indeed, many Indonesian nationals going through the Saudi legal system feel alienated and at the mercy of players that are outside their representation. Therefore, with vast numbers of migrants dying in nations like Qatar because of terrible working conditions, to lack of rights for nationals from nations like Indonesia throughout the Gulf region – alongside the beading of convicted citizens in Saudi Arabia – then much more must be done in order to protect fellow nationals.”
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