Saturday, January 04, 2014

Indonesia managed to commute death sentence for 162 persons, still 236 on death row outside Indonesia

This reports below just talks about Indonesian migrant workers  on death row outside Indonesia..

 Many Indonesians on death
row abroad for drug charges

Hundreds of Indonesians are facing the death penalty abroad, with 80 percent of them related to drug charges and the rest connected to torture, murder and robbery.

“Currently there are 236 Indonesians who are facing the death sentences and 188 of them are related to drug abuse and trafficking,” the Foreign Ministry’s director for legal aid and protection of Indonesian nationals overseas, Tatang Budie Utama Razak, said Monday.

He was speaking at a coordination meeting on protection for Indonesian nationals and migrant workers (TKI) in eastern Indonesia. Representatives from regional administrations attended the meeting as well as those from various NGOs.

A similar meeting for western Indonesia will be held in Batam, Riau Islands, on Dec. 18.

Tatang said that Malaysia had the largest number of Indonesians on death row with 173, followed by Saudi Arabia (37), China (19), Singapore (4) and Brunei Darussalam, Iran and the United Arab Emirates with one each.

There are 120 drug-related cases in Malaysia while all the cases in China and Iran are drug-related. “Most of the drug cases in Malaysia are for marijuana smuggling,” Tatang said.

He said most of the Indonesians on death row had been used by international drug syndicates. They had been arrested at airports or other entry points carrying drugs for syndicates in bags, luggage or inside their bodies.

“The Indonesian smugglers did not use working visas but tourist visas to enter countries such as China,” he said.

Tatang added that the female Indonesians who had been used as mules by drug syndicates were often lured into it through new friends or chatting on the Internet.

Other than those on death row, Tatang said there were many other Indonesians imprisoned abroad on drug charges, in Europe, Latin America, Afghanistan and South Africa.

The Foreign Ministry is assisting suspects sentenced to death through Indonesian embassies or representative offices and local lawyers hired by the state.

“The advocacy conducted by the ministry is not merely to acquit them of all charges but also to guarantee their rights as Indonesians to get legal assistance and counselor access abroad,” Tatang said.

“But we are working hard so that they will not be executed.”

He added that since 2011 the Foreign Ministry had managed to commute 162 capital punishment cases.

An expert staffer to the foreign affairs minister, Muhammad Ibnu Said, said the coordination meeting for foreign nationals was held to increase synergy between the ministry and related regional administrations to protect Indonesian nationals and handle cases involving Indonesians abroad.

He said that the number of cases involving Indonesians and TKIs abroad showed a decreasing trend, from 38,880 cases in 2011 to 19,218 cases in 2012. As of September, there had been 12,967 cases in 2013.

He said most of the cases were dominated by TKIs who did not understand the regulations in host countries and who had incomplete working and immigration documents.

“Regional administrations play an important role in early prevention to at least reduce the cases by preparing TKI both in education and skills as well as preparing complete documents,” he said. - Jakarta Post, 10/12/2013, Many Indonesians on death row abroad for drug charges

265 migrant workers face death penalty

As many as 265 Indonesian migrant workers in several countries, including China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, may face death penalty, an NGO activist has said.

“In addition to low wages and harsh labor conditions, the death penalty has also threatened our migrant workers,” Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah in Surabaya, East Java, on Friday, as quoted by Antara news agency. 

She said in Malaysia, 213 Indonesian migrant workers were facing legal problems.

“Seventy out of the total have been sentenced to death. In Saudi Arabia, nine migrant workers are already on death row awaiting execution while 33 cases are being processed,” said Anis.

She further explained that in China, nine Indonesian migrant workers had been given the death sentence that was final while 18 cases were still in progress.

“This is very alarming,” said Anis.

Up to now, many Indonesian migrant workers have been put to death in several countries, including Basri Masse who was executed in Malaysia. Another worker, Karno Marzuki, was executed in Malaysia on Sept.14, 1991 while Yanti Iriyanti was put to death in Saudi Arabia on Feb.12, 2008. Darman Agustiri was executed in Egypt in 2010, followed by Ruyati in Saudi Arabia on June 18, 2011.

Anis said what had happened to the workers could not be separated from various failures, such as illegal documents. 

“There have been 101,067 undocumented migrant workers who have registered for legalization. Only 17,306 of them have been able to obtain work documents and 6,700 others have been able to get exit permits,” said Anis.

Slow or hasty responses to the issue of migrant workers has aggravated the situation. This could be seen, for instance, in the government’s clumsiness in handling Ruyati’s death sentence, which they only responded to after she was executed. Indonesian overstayers in Saudi Arabia only after activists launched “Rp 1,000 Coins Movement” to tease authorities’ awkwardness in assisting the undocumented migrant workers return home.

“To minimize or prevent it from happening in the future, local administrations who send their people working abroad should take more active roles,” said Anis. (ebf) - The Jakarta Post, 28/12/2014, 265 migrant workers face death penalty