7 December 2019

Indonesia summons Saudi envoy over execution of worker

KONFRONTASI - Indonesia has summoned the Saudi ambassador in Jakarta to protest a recent beheading of a female Indonesian worker in the Arab kingdom.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the worker’s family and consular staff were not notified before the execution.

“The Indonesian government filed a protest against the Saudi Arabian government for not giving prior notification to Indonesian representatives or to the family over the execution date,” the statement said.

The Saudi ambassador to Indonesia, Mustafa Ibrahim al-Mubarak, has said he would follow up on Jakarta’s concerns.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia beheaded Siti Zainab, the Indonesian worker with a suspected mental illness in the city of Medina.

Saudi authorities said the Indonesia maid was executed after a court found her guilty of stabbing and beating her employer, a Saudi woman, to death in 1999.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has denounced the beheading as the latest in a “recent macabre spike in Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored killings.”

The rights group added that it was against international law to put to death a convict possibly suffering from mental ailments.

“Imposing the death penalty and executing someone with a suspected mental illness smacks of a basic lack of humanity,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director.

The beheading brings to at least 60 the number of people executed across Saudi Arabia so far this year. Last year, Saudi authorities executed 87 people, compared with 78 in 2013.

Saudi authorities execute convicts by sword and then dangle their corpses from a helicopter to make sure the public could see the result of the execution.

The authorities say the executions reveal the kingdom’s commitment to “maintaining security and realizing justice.”

Riyadh has come under particular criticism from rights groups for the executions carried out for non-fatal crimes.

According to rights groups, Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world.

Muslim clerics have also slammed Riyadh for indicting and then executing suspects without giving them a chance to defend themselves, describing the Saudi authorities as uncivilized.[ptv]

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