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Rallies held to raise awareness of the plight of Indonesian migrant workers who face execution

Hundreds of Indonesian workers face execution

Konradus Epa, Jakarta

August 27 2010

Indonesian Church spokesmen and a group of NGOs have criticized the government over its apparent lack of concern for hundreds of imprisoned migrant workers who face the death penalty in Malaysia.

The International NGO Forum on Indonesia Development, Migrant Care and the Commission for Disappeared and Victims of Violence have compiled a list of 345 Indonesian migrant workers who await execution for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

The government claims the figure is lower at 177 but Father Serafin Danny Sanusi of the Indonesian Bishops' Commission for Justice and Peace believes that this typifies its indifference. "It shows that the government doesn't intend to protect its citizens," he said.

He also pointed out that Indonesian workers in other countries face similar fates. "In Arabian countries, Indonesians have died after receiving the death sentence. But the government hasn't publicized their case."

"It's really an irony that these overseas workers, who contribute six billion rupiahs to national revenue, are not appreciated," he said.

Wahyu Susilo, the Catholic program manager of Infid, an NGO, said he is pessimistic that the government provides accurate data on the number of Indonesian workers who are persecuted, raped or underpaid.

He also criticized Indonesia's Minister of Law and Human Rights for his attitude to the workers sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia when he said there were "only 12."

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