JAKARTA: Saudi Arabia executed an Indonesian domestic worker Thursday just days after beheading another woman from the country, prompting the Indonesian foreign ministry to summon the kingdom’s ambassador, Jakarta said.
Karni binti Medi Tarsim, 37, was convicted of murdering a four-year-old girl in 2012, according to a statement from the Indonesian foreign ministry.
Her execution in Yanbu, western Saudi Arabia, came two days after another Indonesian helper, Siti Zainab, was beheaded for murder.
In both cases, Jakarta expressed anger that it was not given advance notice of the execution.
Indonesia’s anger at the executions comes despite the fact that Jakarta is due to execute several foreign drug convicts in the near future, in the face of mounting international criticism.
In a statement related to Tarsim’s case, the ministry expressed “regret and disappointment that representatives of Indonesia both in Riyadh and Jeddah did not obtain official information regarding the time and place of execution”.
A day before her execution, Tarsim, from the main island of Java, was visited by an Indonesian official but neither the prison authorities nor the convict gave any indication the execution was imminent, the ministry said.
Jakarta said it mounted a sustained campaign to try to save Tarsim, with two letters requesting mercy sent by President Joko Widodo and one by his predecessor.
“The government of Indonesia has done its utmost to provide legal protection and has sought forgiveness from the victim’s family with the aim of getting Tarsim’s death sentence commuted,” said the ministry.
Jakarta did not give details of the method used to put Tarsim to death.
Riyadh’s ambassador to Jakarta was summoned to the foreign ministry late Thursday to hear Jakarta’s complaints about the process. The ambassador, Mustafa Ibrahim Al-Mubarak, was also summoned on Wednesday over the first execution.
Saudi Arabia has long been a major destination for Indonesian workers, but authorities placed a moratorium on sending new helpers to the country in 2011 after the beheading of a maid.
In the first execution on Tuesday, Zainab was beheaded in the Muslim holy city of Medina after being convicted of stabbing a Saudi woman to death in 1999. Rights groups said there were suspicions she was mentally ill.
Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom’s strict version of Islamic sharia law. Amnesty International has decried a “macabre spike” in Saudi executions this year.