Migrants' rights activists in Indonesia welcomed on Friday the government’s decision to pay $1.8 million to free one of its citizens on death row in Saudi Arabia, just days before she was to be executed for murdering her employer.
Satinah, a 41-year old migrant domestic worker, was convicted of killing her Saudi employer in 2007 but said she had acted in self-defence after her boss allegedly physically abused her. She was sentenced to death by beheading.
"The government can no longer ignore the fact that saving a citizen is the country’s responsibility," said Anis Hidayah, executive director of NGO Migrant Care, according to media reports. The government, which announced its decision on a website on Thursday, had come under fire over Satinah’s case after initially saying it could not raise the money in time.
Celebrities and activists spearheaded a fundraising campaign. As allowed by Saudi law, the victim’s family had initially demanded $4 million in “blood money” to spare the maid’s life, but agreed to lower the amount after years of negotiations with the Indonesian government.