Indonesian rape victim to be saved from Saudi execution
in 2009 Darsem binti Dawud Tawar, an Indonesian maid working in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to death by beheading after murdering an employer who she claimed tried to rape her.
After a wide-spread public campaign, including appeals to raise 'blood money' on TV and Facebook, the Indonesian government agreed to pay the murdered man's family $533,000 in compensation.
A week ago another Indonesian migrant, Royati binti Sapubi, was beheaded after being found guilty of murdering her employer.
This time compensation was not paid and the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, publicly accused Saudi Arabia of breaking the "norms and manners" of international relations.
The Indonesian government is increasingly worried about the treatment of the thousands of migrants who travel to countries like Saudi Arabia and has announced a possible moratorium on sending migrant workers abroad.
However, for many families in Indonesia, working abroad is the only way to escape the abject poverty at home.
Jakarta Globe reports
A Saudi Arabian court has ruled to release an Indonesian migrant worker on death row for murder after the Indonesian government paid Rp 4.6 billion ($533,000) in compensation for the crime.
“The compensation was paid by two officers of the Indonesian Embassy to a panel at the Riyadh government dealing with the case,” said Hendrar Pramutyo, an official of the embassy’s Citizen Protection Wing, on Saturday, as quoted by Arabnews.com.
“The payment of blood money is an expression of the Indonesian government’s commitment to protect its overseas workers at any cost.”
He said the Riyadh court had already decided to release the maid, who was currently being detained in the Malaz Jail.
“I am hopeful that the maid will be released shortly,” Hendrar said.
Darsem was convicted in a Riyadh court in May 2009 of murdering her Yemeni employer and was sentenced to death despite her plea that she had killed the man in self-defense because he had attempted to rape her.
In January, the victim’s family forgave Darsem and agreed to spare her, but only if she could afford to pay compensation.
Anis Hidayah from advocacy group Migrant Care said the diyat payment was “necessary” but should not set a precedent.
“It is ironic that Darsem had to pay for the crime she unintentionally committed to defend herself from being raped,” Anis said.
Darsem’s sparing came a week after the beheading of another Indonesian maid, Royati binti Sapubi, prompted to government to announce a moratorium on Indonesian workers heading to Saudi Arabia from Aug. 1.