Author: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN & FATIMA SIDYA | ARAB NEWS
Tuesday 5 April 2011
A spokesman of the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah, Didi Wahyudi, said Monday an appeal would be lodged with the higher court soon regarding the case of Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23.
"We have 30 days to challenge the Madinah court's verdict and our lawyers are preparing all papers for the appeal," he said.
"How can the former employer of Sumiati be allowed to go free despite the seriousness of the crime and widespread allegations that she tortured and caused severe injuries to the maid?"
He refused to accept the court’s verdict, which said there was not enough evidence of torture.
Sumiati, he said, suffered various injuries including broken bones and internal bleeding and was rushed to hospital. "It is really disgusting ... that the verdict was not in our favor," said the consulate official, alleging some employers were nasty and they did not respect human rights.
"But a large number of them are good, well-behaved and respect domestic aides as well," he added.
He said the Indonesian government would continue to protect the rights of its citizens living abroad.
Abdurrahman Al-Hajar, the lawyer of the 55-year-old Saudi woman accused of torturing the maid in Madinah, meanwhile said they would ask the court for almost SR37 million and an apology for his client and her family.
He added that an apology is also required for Saudis who have been stereotyped in the international press as treating their maids badly.
“There is a complete lack of consideration for the past 30 years in which Indonesian maids have been treated with respect in the Kingdom,” said the lawyer.
He added that his client suffered from a nervous condition that prevents her from attacking people and added that her home had five doors from which the maid could have fled.
“The maid could have defended herself if any attack had taken place, but that did not happen. No one can comprehend how could she take the punishment without trying to defend herself or flee.”
The maid, he added, went to the hospital several times and never complained about the alleged bad treatment from his client.
Al-Hajar added that members of the Indonesian community convinced the maid to complain against the defendant and then contacted the Indonesian press, which reported the story before Saudi media.
“The marks she has on her ear, mouth and other parts of her body were not new, according to a medical report. She had them already when she came from Indonesia.”
The Saudi woman, who is a widowed mother of five daughters and a son, has been in prison for over four months. She had originally been sentenced to three years in prison, which was appealed against. Judge Sheikh Faisal bin Mohammad Al-Sheikh overturned the ruling last week.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Consulate said Jakarta would be contacting Saudi authorities regarding the death of Aan Darwati binti Udin Encup, a 37-year-old migrant worker from Majalengka allegedly killed by her employer in Makkah last week.
“We will not remain silent until there is justice from the Saudi government,” said Jumhur Hidayat, head of the National Indonesian Workers Placement and Protection Agency in Jakarta, on Monday.