281 Indonesian migrant workers face death penalty abroad
Up to 281 Indonesian migrant workers are facing the death penalty in 2015, according to the rights group Migrant Care. Fifty nine of them have been sentenced to death and 219 others are currently undergoing legal proceedings.
“The death penalty faced by Indonesian migrant workers represents the state’s failure to protect their rights. Today, 281 migrant workers are facing the death penalty in various countries,” Migrant Care director Anies Hidayah told a press conference in Jakarta on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.
According to Anis, Malaysia was home to the largest number of Indonesian migrant workers who are facing the death penalty this year, with 212 people.
Meanwhile, 36 Indonesians are facing the same fate in Saudi Arabia. “Five of them have been convicted and are currently awaiting execution,” said Anis.
Behind Saudi are China with 28 Indonesian migrant workers, Qatar (1), the European Union (1), Singapore (1) and Taiwan (1).
Anis added that the year 2015 marked the peak of the government’s failure to save migrant workers from death penalties after the execution of two housemaids, Siti Zaenab and Karni, in Saudi in April.
“The executions [in Saudi] were conducted following the Indonesian government’s execution of six death-row drug convicts in January,” said Anis.
Migrant Care, along with other institutions aligned with the Civil Society Coalition to Protect Migrant Workers, called on the government to suspend future executions and increase its bargaining leverage when fighting for the lives of Indonesians facing death penalty overseas.
Migrant Care spokesperson Wahyu Susilo said that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s pleas with Saudi King Salman to release four Indonesians from the death penalty would be unsuccessful if the government did not take the initiative to erase the sentence in its own country.
“We are currently examining the case of Mary Jane, which should’ve encouraged Indonesia to create a roadmap for the eradication of the death sentence,” said Wahyu.