Indonesia is protesting against Saudi Arabia after an overseas domestic worker was executed without notifying the country.
An overseas worker from Indonesia was executed Monday. Tuti Tursilawati, a maid from Indonesia and mother of one, was sentenced to death in 2011 for killing her employer, an act she says was in self-defense when he attempted to rape her.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has demanded to know why Indonesia had not been notified about the execution of Tursilawati, Reuters reports.
The president says that the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia had been summoned to discuss the matter.
"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ignored principles of human rights, including a right for everyone to live," said Abidin Fikri, a member of Indonesia's parliament.
This comes days after Saudi Arabian authorities arrested 19 Filipina women who were attending a Halloween party Friday. The women were temporarily released Tuesday and will be turned over to the Philippine Embassy, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The Halloween-themed party was held in a private residence. The party was raided after a noise complaint from neighbors. It is currently uncertain what charges the women will face.
Adnan Alonto, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said that local authorities may file charges against the Filipinas for violating Shari'a law, which prohibits single men and women from interacting in public.
"In addition, everyone is reminded to avoid mixed crowds, consuming liquor, and holding public practice of traditions that are associated with religions other than Islam, such as Halloween, Valentines, and Christmas."
Women in Saudi Arabia face discrimination “in law and practice, despite the government’s promised reforms,” Amnesty International said.”They also remained inadequately protected against sexual and other forms of violence.”
Migrant workers in the country are commonly treated as sub-human. They are often denied days off, forced to stay within the house, not given wages, and experience poor living conditions, including a lack of food and privacy. “Female domestic servants are the group most vulnerable to exploitation in Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” says Romina Halabi of the University of Denver said in a study.
“Despite this knowledge, countries such as the Philippines, with growing populations and economic instability, continue to send female domestic workers abroad because the financial benefit of remittances cannot be ignored,” Halabi says.
“For these countries, sending workers to the Middle East and to the Persian Gulf reduces the number of unemployed, and lowers the danger of social dissatisfaction.”