Indonesia criticizes Saudi beheading of maid

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 19 2011 03:39 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2011 11:39 PM

JAKARTA - Jakarta on Sunday condemned the beheading by sword of an Indonesian maid convicted of murdering her Saudi employer's wife in the oil-rich country, an official said.

The woman named Roiaiti Beth Sabotti Sarona, according to a transliteration from Arabic, was found guilty of killing Saudi woman Khairiya bint Hamid Mijlid by striking her repeatedly on the head with a meat chopper and stabbing her in the neck, Saudi authorities said.

She was executed Saturday in the western province of Mecca.

"Without prejudice to the legal system in force in Saudi Arabia, the Indonesian government criticized that the execution was carried out without observing international practices relating to consular protection," Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene told AFP.

"We were aware of the case and she had confessed to the murder. But we were not informed of the timing of the execution," he added, voicing "deep sorrow" over the beheading.

The government will summon the Saudi ambassador in Jakarta to express its concern, Tene said.

Around 70 percent of the 1.2 million Indonesians working in Saudi Arabia are domestic helpers, according to officials.

The beheading brought the number of executions in the ultra-conservative kingdom this year to 28, according to an AFP tally based on official and human rights group reports.

London-based watchdog Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabia last week to stop applying the death penalty, saying there had been a significant rise in the number of executions carried out over the past six weeks.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.