Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Maid Brutally Tourtured in Saudi Arabia

Many Indonesian women have been working in countries like Saudi Arabia where women are discriminated by men, therefore legal protection is limited.

Due to that country's closed society, many of those women have been treated very badly by their employers but cannot do anything.

One of those unfortunate women is Sumiati (23) who just worked there for three months but has frequently been inhumanely tortured by her Saudi masters using hot iron, scissors and other tool until almost paralysed.

The Indonesian government has strongly protested this brutality, and will dispatch a fact finding team headed by the Minister of Empowerment of Women Linda Agum Gumelar to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia has call on the Indonesian government not to over react and asked them to trust his government's efforts to handle the case.

I hope that our government would make sure that this case would be investigated properly, anyone who are  responsible would be tried in Court and punished accordingly, so that our workers can work peacefully abroad.

Sources :
- Housemaid viciously abused, says Indonesian diplomat (The Saudi Gazette)
President demands ‘all-out’ action in maid abuse case (The Jakarta Post)
Saudi Arabia Asks Indonesia Not to Overreact (Kompas)


Photo :  Courtesy of The Saudi Gazette

41 comments:

June_Butterfly said...

This is truly sad and inhuman!I hope the indonesian govt.can find justice for this cruelty.

There are lots of cases like this.Most are not brought to public.I hope people in authority will exert more efforts in avoiding these kind of crimes.

Jolly Princess said...

I feel sorry for this lady. I hope she is well now and still sane. Same thing happens to some of our Filipino women. But I do not know why they still prefer to work in countries like this. Some are even recruited without proper working permits. :(

bridge said...

not to over react? Of course... There was a maid (I forgot whether she was originally from Bangladesh or Pakistan) have been put nails all over her body by her employer...
Those employers are very creative in finding ways for torturing their maids. Impressive. Perhaps once they were working in prison or torturing camps.
This poor maid OBVIOUSLY not the first tortured maid and CERTAINLY will not going to be the last victim.

buble said...

i hope she is get well now :)

NENSA MOON said...

I've already heard about this from the newspaper this morning... I felt really sorry for this woman... I think the goverment must have doing something seriously to protect our people who worked abroad... too many similar case and too often happened ... truly sad!!

colson said...

Migrant workers often - and all over the world- have to cope with appalling working conditions and abuse by their employers. Especially women among them are vulnerable to exploitation, sexual exploitation included.

Societies where the power-gap between the haves and the have-nots is huge and where cultural circumstances include a second or third rate status for women, are extremely hazardous.

Considering the continuing stories of abuse of Indonesian girls and women in countries like Malaysia or on the Arab peninsula, urgently call for action indeed ( like the President) said.

I wonder what he's got in mind - because it's not easy to remove the root of all evil: lack of employment and poverty at home.

H. Nizam said...

@June,
Very sad and inhuman indeed.
In authoritarian countries usually only very few of such cases are reported.
Those responsible should be punished severely so as to prevent other victims.

@JP,
The governments of countries that sent their women to work abroad, like Indonesia and the Philippines should cooperate to find the best way to prevent such brutalities.
We cannot only rely on government of host country especially not one that is authoritarian.

@Ria/Bridge,
Such brutality has happened in the past to our women working in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Because governments of those countries are authoritarian, and arrogant, therefore those cases were unsolved.
This time firm actions should be taken.

@Bubble,
Yeah let's hope that she'll get back to normal again.

@Nensa,
I fully agree with you that this time our government should be very serious and take an all out action to solve the case.

@Colson,
The root of the problem is poverty,
government's failure to scrutinize workers recruitment agencies and provide legal protection for our migrant workers.

Another reason is people's reaction on brutality in Saudi Arabia and other MidEast are too soft compared to reactions on brutality in Malaysia.

I wonder where are those guys from FPI, HTI, Bendera now ? I don't think they care!

ReBorn said...

because of many cases, like this one, im wondering, whats wrong with Indonesian women workers abroad?

aciid !!!!!! said...

T.T

Edwin's Personal Blog said...

such a horrible another harassment to human rights of our maid abroad. the government shall need to empower them that they can avail of themselves in dignity without being tortured by others.

stugod said...

I hope the Indonesian Government do all they can to resolve this Harry. I am getting more familiar with Indonesian affairs since meeting you and Indonesia seems to be a very forward thinking and progressive and an inclusive society.
All the best from stuart and family

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

aku ngikutin berita ini. kabar terakhir dubes indonesia bialng kalo arab gag kejem2 banget ama TKI kita ya? ckckck

H. Nizam said...

@ReBorn,
Tragedy like this occurred mostly to our female workers who are lowly educated, inadequately trained, and not ready to work for foreigners in foreign countries. The government should firmly scrutinize recruitment agencies and take action against them. More over our migrant worker law should be amended to provide better protection. Besides, our govt must make agreement with Saudi govt about treatment of our workers.

@Aciid,
Terima kasih anda telah follow blog ini.

@Edwin,
In order to make our workers to respected, govt must make very serious efforts to improve the quality of every workers i.e. language of country they will be send, special skills the need, etc. There must be an agreement with the foreign country to ensure protection of our workers.

@Stuart/Stugod,
I also hope so.
I am glad that you are interested in what happened in our country. Thank you.

@TUKANG CoLoNG,
Pernyataan tidak sensitif dari seorang wakil negara kita. Harusnya dia lebih sensitif.

bluethunderheart said...

sad banget dengarnya.
salam hangat

H. Nizam said...

Bluethunderheart,
Memang sangat menyedihkan.
Terima kasih atas komentarnya.

BlueVanilla said...

Sad! Wish the world could be more peaceful...as we are all human.

http://www.hotpinkday.blogspot.com/

Masjid Kita said...

sangat menyedihkan mengetahui hal hal seperti ini... :(

Jhess said...

What dirt bags, who could do that to a women only because you have the power to do so. I am going to post this on my blog everyone needs to know about this.

Yari NK said...

Again, a chronic and complex problem which is not to be easily solved out. On one hand, tortures and abuses continue to happen if we continue sending our informal workers (especially females), on the other hand if we stop sending them abroad we will create new unemployment and more poverty at home.

The root of the problem is that those lady workers are completely helpless, they always tend not to fight back if they are abused because they think to some extent that the employers have 'the right' to punish them physically. Something is not going right here. We have to drum the encouragement of fighting the employers back if they are mistreated into the workers' heads. Or it is better to train them the basics of some martial art to protect themselves from their mischievous employers.

Of course, it has never been a perfect solution but I think it is the most practical solution at hand because we never know when the MOU between both countries will be realised or even it is a possibility that the MOU will never be signed off.... and in that case how much longer do those poor workers have to wait for the better protection?? it's pathetic! :(

Yari NK said...

Again, a chronic and complex problem which is not to be easily solved out. On one hand, tortures and abuses continue to happen if we continue sending our informal workers (especially females), on the other hand if we stop sending them abroad we will create new unemployment and more poverty at home.

The root of the problem is that those lady workers are completely helpless, they always tend not to fight back if they are abused because they think to some extent that the employers have 'the right' to punish them physically. Something is not going right here. We have to drum the encouragement of fighting the employers back if they are mistreated into the workers' heads. Or it is better to train them the basics of some martial art to protect themselves from their mischievous employers.

Of course, it has never been a perfect solution but I think it is the most practical solution at hand because we never know when the MOU between both countries will be realised or even it is a possibility that the MOU will never be signed off.... and in that case how much longer do those poor workers have to wait for the better protection?? it's pathetic! :(

H. Nizam said...

@Blue Vanilla,
Let's hope that those responsible would be punished. So that others would not want to follow.

@Masjid Kita,
Memang sangat menyedihkan.

@Jhess,
Please spread the words so many others would know.

@Yari,
This case is just a tip of the iceberg: whole lots of bad things been happening to our migrant workers.
Our law only emphasize recruitment and dispatch of workers but gave weak protection.
Recruitment and dispatch are not done according to the law.
Improper foreign language and special skills training have made those workers very incapable to perform.
This is very ironic because according to reports those workers contributed around US$ 6 Billion to our country annual income.
The situation is pathetic indeed.

ReBorn said...

sehat pak? :)

Passionate Blogger said...

I am ashamed to say that such cruelty also happens in Malaysia. Some employers are really sadistic creatures and I shiver at the thought of how inhuman humans can be towards another fellow human being. But be rest assured that most of us love and cherish our maids, whether they be Indonesian, Filipino or local.

waroeng ubuntu said...

masalahnya adalah TKW kita sering tdk memiliki skill, dan ini salah agen yg memberangkatkan mereka

H. Nizam said...

@ReBorn,
Saya sehat terima kasih.

@Passionate Blogger,
This kind of brutality could happen anywhere and by/to anyone. It's duty of govt to make effort to prevent it from happening otherwise it would only be political issue.

@Warung Ubuntu
Semoga pemerintah lebih ketat awasi pengerahan, pelatihan, pengiriman dan perlindungan TKI.

Noah Lirik Video said...

Maav hanya berkunjung... ...  ...Salam Kenal, Ijin Follow Ya...;-D

eshal said...

sorry sob aku gak bisa bahasa inggris jadi pake bahasa indonesia aja.. oyach blognya sangat bermanfaat untuk pengetahuan sob,,

Ferdinand said...

Hemm.... mau nyalahin pemerintah pun sia-sia.. soalnya andai pemerintah narik semua TKI pun kita juga blum mampu memberikan lapangan pekerjaan yg layak untuk mereka kan.... kayanya jalan yg paling baik ya membenahi peraturan bilateralnya ....

Sukse slalu N met akhir pekan :P

H. Nizam said...

@Noah Lirik Video,
Terima kasik saya akan follow back

@Eshal,
Terima kasih. Saya seangat menghargai komentar dalam bahasa Indonesia.


@Ferdinand,
Masalah timbul karena kurangnya pengawasan dalam rekrutmen, training, pengiriman TKI. Banyak yang tidak penuhi syarat yaitu tidak bisa bahasa asing,skill kurang sehingga mereka tidak bisa bekerja. PPTKI harus dimonitor ketat jangan asal kirim orang, kalau tidak pasti terulang kembali.

Yesta said...

This is truly disgusting behaviour. The perpetrators should be found and punished severely. The more justice in a nation the more blessings it receives.

H. Nizam said...

@Yesta,
Yes, those responsible should be punished severely. Justice should prevail

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

I have always admired your passion and the reason you employ when arguing your points.

So, let me make a couple of points.

The abuse of Indonesian maids is not confined to Saudi Arabia, is it? Look a little closer to home (I am not talking Malaysia here).

Have you not heard stories of Indonesians with maids treating them badly, even brutally in ways that are as bad as the way that Sumiati was treated in Saudi Arabia? Have you not heard of Indonesian families locking up their maids when the family goes out to the mall or wherever in order to prevent the maid running off with the family jewels?

If the president, or anyone else is serious about the abuse of Indonesian domestic servants, then they must not forget the home front either.

Legally. Indonesian law cannot be enforced extra-territorially. Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state and it will not tolerate the imposition of Indonesian laws within its borders. That is why the current Indonesia regulatory framework extends to the recruitment and posting phases. It is also the reason why the law is so sparse post-arrival in foreign lands.

Rob Baiton said...

continuing...

The violence and abuse that occurs "in-country" is a matter for local law enforcement agencies of that country. Indonesia can provide any manner of support that it so chooses to the Indonesian citizen who is victim to the crime. But, the Indonesian government is not going to be able to prosecute the perpetrator of that crime.

It is time that "some" people in the known on these things toned down the rhetoric and talked the cold hard truths and realities of this case.

An immediate withdrawal of all Indonesian workers in Saudi Arabia and a moratorium on any future placements opens a Pandora's Box of other problems, both here and abroad.

But, if Indonesia were to pull out, then it should rest assured that some other country would quickly fill the void. Indonesia is not the only country in the world where people are prepared to come from the Kampungs and head overseas to find better opportunities and money to support their families at home.

In any event, it is all talk and there will be no action on pulling Indonesians out of Saudi Arabia. The government recognises that in doing so they would be shooting themselves in the foot. There will, over time, be billions of dollars remitted by Indonesian foreign labourers / migrants back to family and institutions in Indonesia.

Rob Baiton said...

Final point...

Is this really the tip of the iceberg? Or is it more a case of one or two bad apples spoiling the bunch?

Any violence or abuse of one person's human rights, including the right to basic human dignity, is a tragedy.

Yet, detaching the human elements of sympathy, empathy, compassion and the like, statistically speaking, what percentage of Indonesia's migrant workers are victims of violence?

cucuharis said...

menyedihkan

Negara harus tegas
Harus bisa melindungi warga negaranya

H. Nizam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H. Nizam said...

@Rob,

Thank you very much for your comments which show your in-dept knowledge about Indonesian domestic workers (maids) here and abroad.

I agree that many maids have been treated very badly here but only few are exposed to public.

Even their "normal" conditions are
actually Abnormal if we measure based on the legal working hours (40hours/1week), and regional minimum wage (UMR).

Whereby usually they have to wake up and start work before their employers wake up, and go to bed after their employers finished dinner.

In Jakarta although there are regulations to protect them but unfortunately condition doesn't improve.

The reason is because so many boys & girls, men & women in kampung are very eager to work as domestic helper/maids. If one leave, it's not difficult to get replacement.
Why? because there's no job in kampung except waiting for seasonal harvests (once in 6 months).

That's why I mentioned Sumiati's case in Saudi Arabia is just a tip of an iceberg of all problems related to domestic helpers abroad and in Indonesia.

The cases abroad gets far more attention because lots of money involved, and the govt have MOUs with those countries. We also have law governing migrant workers and agents that handle training, process documents, arrange travel & employment in foreign lands.
Unfortunately many agents do not obey the law and the govt seemed to be closing their eyes.

For example, before they go they must be trained for at least 200 hours (= 20 days), which I don't think is enough to learn foreign language and get some skill.
But according to TV talk shows workers are not trained that long.

Re: Claim of workers rights
Of course they cannot be based on our laws/regulations but can only be based on laws of the foreign country. In this case our govt's representative (embassy/consulate)
could be of great help.
Why? because our 1 mio workers in Saudi Arabia sent billions of USD each year therefore should be protected.

It is very difficult for Indonesia to pull back its workers abroad at this moment.
The best thing would be to provide candidate workers with much better trainings at least more than 300 hours (3 months), only those who can speak foreign language and have skills can be send, and monitoring of their working condition.

@Cucuharis,
Tepat sekali! Pemerintah harus melindungi mereka.

Cecilio Bastos said...

Saudações camarada. Prazer também. Sou jornalista brasileiro e vejo informações importantes em seu blog. Abraço.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Cecilio,

Thank you for your visit, comment and for following my blog.

Otli said...

Hi, same with our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), they have tasted inhuman cruelty in Arabian countries. Our Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) hinted "If you can't cope up with their culture don't push yourself, you're holding the edges of a knife.".

There are many cases of inhuman abuse to Filipinos working over those Arabian countries. Really. You can Google it, there are so many stories circulating around the Internet.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Otli,

I am sad to hear that some workers from your country the Philippines have also been tortured brutally in Arab countries.
Perhaps it's because those countries are mostly governed by authoritarian regimes, and females are treated as second class citizens.