JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia demanded an investigation Friday into reports that a domestic worker was allegedly killed by her employer in Saudi Arabia and thrown into dumpster — the second case of maid abuse to emerge this week.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting called to discuss the need to protect hundreds of thousands of migrants who flock to the Middle East in search of work.
Too many, human rights groups say, face slavery-like conditions, torture, sexual abuse and even death.
Indonesian Minister of Labor Muhaimin Iskandar said an embassy team was dispatched to the Saudi town of Abha to look into allegations the 36-year-old maid, Kikim Komalasari, had been killed by her bosses.
Her neck was slashed and she had severe cuts to the rest of her body, he said.
"It's shocking to hear this ... it's beyond inhumane," Yudhoyono said, adding, however, he was encouraged so far by the Saudi government's quick response. "I'm hopeful the perpetrators will be punished according to law."
The report came as a team of Indonesian officials headed to the Mideast to seek justice and medical help for another maid, Sumiati binti Salan Mustapa, who has been hospitalized in the Saudi city of Medina since Nov. 8.
The 23-year-old's employers allegedly burned her, broke her middle finger and cut her lips with scissors.
Earlier this week, New York-based group Human Rights Watch urged Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait to do more to protect domestic workers in their countries, saying a string of allegations point to a "broader pattern of abuse."
They were responding to reports that a Sri Lankan maid working in Jordan had been forced to swallow nails. Another maid employed in Kuwait claimed her employer drove nails into her body.
"The wanton brutality alleged in these cases is shocking," said Nisha Varia, senior women's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, which called on authorities to investigate claims promptly and bring those responsible to justice.
Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini in Jakarta and Dale Gavlak in Amman, Jordan contributed to this report.