Death execution momentum to study consular agreement with Saudi Arabia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Director for Protection of Indonesian Citizens at the Foreign Office Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said the execution of Tuti Tursilawati, an Indonesian migrant worker in Saudi Arabia could serve as a good momentum to study consular agreement between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Tuti was executed for murder earlier this week without notification to Indonesian representatives in Saudi Arabia.

The consular agreement will give mandatory consular notification (MCN) in the such case as that of Tuti .

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has lodged protest against the Saudi Government for the execution of Tuti without first notifying Indonesian representatives in that country.

The Saudi law has no regulation requiring notification to foreign government of any legal cases involving the citizens of the foreign country.

"The protest by the Foreign Minister is one package with proposal to consular agreement with the Saudi Government," Iqbal said here on Wednesday.

The proposal has been discussed at a meeting between Retno and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir here on Oct 23.

Iqbal said the Saudi government is yet to study the proposal for the consular agreement.

Therefore, the protest against the execution of Tuti could serve as a momentum to seriously consider the proposal, he said.

But such notification is important for civilized nations in the world according to the Vienna Convention in 1963 on Consular relations.

Indonesia considers such notification necessary for the government to provide legal advisor for its citizens involved in legal case abroad.

In the case of Tuti and other Indonesian death convicts in Saudi Arabia notification before execution is necessary to allow relatives of the convicts to mentally prepare themselves.

During the Government of President Joko Widodo, four Indonesian migrant workers have been executed in Saudi Arabia. Two were executed in 2015 without notification for which the Indonesian government lodges strong protest as there was no notification before and after the execution.

In the execution of Muhammad Zaini Misrin Arsad and Tuti Tursilawati, notification was given after the execution in the same day.

"This indicated that earlier protests had changed the legal policy of Arab Saudi. I think Saudi Arabia needs a momentum to make an internal change," Iqbal said.

Indonesia has consular notification agreement with three countries - Australia, Brunei Darussalam, and the Philippines.

Tuti Tursilawati, who left her home town Majalengka for Saudi Arabia in 2009, to work for a family in the city of Thaif to take care of an advanced aged member of the family. She worked there for 8 months before she was arrested on charge of murder in May, 2010 on charge of murdering the father of his employer Suud Mulhaq Al Utaibi.

Tuti told the court in her trial that she committed the murder in self defense, saying she had been sexually abused and treated with violence by her employer.

Source: ANTARA News

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