Indonesian Woman beheaded by sword
in the western province of Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Guilty of murdering employer
Maid guilty of murdering employer with a meat cleaver
Posted by Emily Rauhala Friday, June 24, 2011
......A woman, beheaded by the sword thousands of miles from home. This, at last, proved too much for Indonesia. For years, this Southeast Asian nation has been sending its citizens to work in Saudi Arabia and, for years, migrant workers there complained of poor working conditions, abuse and violence.
But the surprise execution of Ruyati binti Sapubi, a 54-year old maid accused of killing her female employer, seems to have shocked the country into action. Indonesian authorities, who say Ruyati was routinely abused, are outraged they were not informed of the sentence. They announced on Thursday that Indonesia will stop sending maids to the kingdom — at least for now.
The outcry over Ruyati's life and death in Saudi Arabia has cast a rather bright light on what is all-too-often dismissed as a private matter: the use and abuse of foreign domestic workers.
A vast body of research confirms what we all basically know — there are literally millions of people, mostly women, working in others people's houses. In Saudi Arabia alone, there are 1.5 million foreign domestic workers. Many enjoy decent conditions. Many do not.
Saudi Arabia is a dangerous place for far too many foreign domestic workers. In 2008, a Human Rights Watch report documented widespread abuse of Asian maids in Saudi households. The organization found that women were routinely subjected to wretched working conditions, as well as emotional, sexual and physical abuse. "She beat me until my whole body burned. She beat me almost every day," one Indonesian woman told them. "She would beat my head against the stove until it was swollen." Since most maids are housebound and far from home, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get help. If they do seek aid, the system is stacked against them, activists say.
Unfortunately, this is not just a Saudi Problem — it's a global one. In march, I wrote about a similar dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia. After several high-profile acts of violence against domestic workers, Indonesia was forced to stop women from seeking work as maids in Malaysia.
The problem, as I noted then, is that banning Indonesian women from working in Malaysia, or Saudi Arabia, doesn't, in itself, force host countries to reform. Rather, as in the case of Indonesia and Malaysia, the reduction in the number of Indonesian migrants opened the market to women from poorer countries like Cambodia.
Eventually, Malaysia agreed to prosecute some of its worst offenders, including a woman who assaulted her housemaid with scissors and a hammer. This type of legal and diplomatic pressure is an important first step. To this end, International Labor Organization (ILO), recently past the first-ever convention on the rights of domestic workers. The document affirms domestic workers' rights to a minimum wage, a weekly day off and a limit to their working hours. It also obliges governments to protect them from violence.
However, in order for the convention to be binding, countries must adopt it — and not all will. And, as I've written before, fair laws do not guarantee fair treatment. Until 'house work' is valued and female workers are treated with dignity, foreign domestic workers will continue to suffer.....
Read more: http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/06/24/after-beheading-indonesia-bans-maids-from-work-in-saudi-arabia/#ixzz1QL7qTkW5
Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:54PM
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
The Indonesian president has slammed Saudi Arabia for the beheading of an Indonesian maid in the kingdom and decided to stop sending maids to the country.
Saudi Arabia "broke the norms and manners of international relations" by carrying out the death sentence, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Thursday.
He added that he had lodged a protest with the Saudi government over Saturday's execution of the Indonesian citizen for murder.
"I decided to apply a moratorium on sending Indonesian workers to Saudi Arabia, to be in effect on August 1, but starting from today, steps toward this have begun," Yudhoyono was quoted as saying by AFP.
Earlier this week Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia in protest over the execution of the 54-year-old maid Ruyati binti Sapubi, who had been convicted of killing her Saudi employer.
The Indonesian maid was executed by sword. Saudi officials then dangled her corpse from a helicopter to make sure the public could see the grotesque result of the execution.
Indonesian officials say the maid had been severely abused by her employers.
Twenty-three Indonesians currently face execution in Saudi Arabia, where people convicted of murder are beheaded in public. Riyadh has carried out 27 beheadings so far this year.
There are more than one million Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, most of them working as maids.
Sat Jun 18, 7:24 am ET
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) –
.....An Indonesian woman was beheaded by the sword on Saturday after being convicted of murdering a Saudi woman, the interior ministry said.
The woman named Roiaiti Beth Sabotti Sarona, according to a transliteration from Arabic, was found guilty of killing Saudi Khairiya bint Hamid Mijlid by striking her repeatedly on the head with a meat chopper and stabbing her in the neck, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The ministry did not elaborate on the motives of the crime, nor it did disclose the relation between the two women. But Indonesian officials say that around 70 percent of the 1.2 million Indonesians working in Saudi Arabia are domestic staff.
The beheading in the western province of Mecca brings the number of executions in the ultra-conservative kingdom this year to 28, according to an AFP tally based on official and human rights group reports.
London-based watchdog Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabia last week to stop applying the death penalty, saying there had been a significant rise in the number of executions carried out over the past six weeks.
It said at least 27 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia in 2011, "the same as the total number of people executed in the whole of 2010. Fifteen people were executed in May alone."
In 2009, the number of executions reached 67, compared to 102 in 2008. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law........
To both the deceased affected by this tragic and sad incidence,