Indonesia will prohibit its citizens from working as domestic servants in Saudi Arabia after the beheading of a maid convicted of murdering her Saudi employer last week.
As the AFP is reporting, the suspension will take effect Aug. 1 and remain in place until the Saudi government agrees to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to protect Indonesian workers' rights, officials said. "We will set up a special task force whose job is to make sure there are no Indonesian workers heading for Saudi when the moratorium is in place," Indonesian Labor Ministry spokeswoman Dita Indah Sari is quoted by the BBC as saying. "We do not want to see any illegal recruitments during this period."
The move comes after the execution of Ruyati binti Satubi, a 54-year-old Indonesian maid who was convicted of murder after confessing to killing her employer, Khairiya bint Hamid Mijlid, with a kitchen knife. The AFP cites Jakarta officials as saying she carried out the killing after being denied permission to return to Indonesia. In addition, Ruyati's family was not informed of her beheading until the day after the execution was carried out, according to al Jazeera.
Rights activists claim there is evidence that Ruyati had suffered abuse while working in Saudi Arabia, and that her own government in Jakarta did not provide sufficient legal counsel to ward off a death sentence. "It is important that Indonesia is sending a strong message to Saudi Arabia," Human Rights Watch Senior Women's Rights Researcher Nisha Varia is quoted by CNN as saying. "That it is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia to execute one of its nationals without informing them."
As the BBC reports, an estimated 1.5 million Indonesians work in Saudi Arabia, many of them as domestic maids. But the case is just the latest is a series of rows between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia over alleged mistreatment of workers.
Watch al Jazeera's report on the case below: