Indonesia Still Waiting For Family’s Forgiveness to Free Satinah


Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto said Indonesian migrant worker Satinah will be freed soon from death sentence for murdering her employer, but the victim’s family still had not forgiven her.

Minister Djoko said during a press conference at his office here on Tuesday the Indonesian government had paid 7 million riyals or around Rp21 billion of amends or “blood money” to free Satinah.

“Principally, we already paid 7 million riyals of amends and it was received by the Saudi Arabian Court, now we will have to wait for a month or two until all the family members of the victim gave their forgiveness,” Djoko noted.

Djoko explained that it was taking a long time to get the forgiveness from the family as they were a big family with seven sub-family members, and according to Saudi Arabia’s law, all of them had to forgive Satinah. This was one of the terms to be freed from the sentence.

“If one of them does not give his forgiveness, then our amends clause will not work,” he said.

“Hopefully, we will get good news within a month or two, as we have fulfilled all of the requirements,” Djoko added.

The negotiation between the Indonesian government and the victim’s family was difficult since the family felt that the officials’ statements in Indonesia were offensive to the victim.

The chief of the Task Force to free Satinah, Muhammad Maftuh Basyuni, said his team should have met some respected figures in Saudi Arabia to gather support during the negotiation.

Maftuh added that the family’s inconsistency about the amends number also complicated the negotiation process.

However, in the end, they agreed to 7 million riyals from 15 million riyals in the previous negotiations.

“There was a guarantee from the court that it had cancelled Satinah’s death sentence, and with this agreement it was proved that there’s no amends mafia,” Maftuh stressed.

During the press conference, Maftuh also condemned the statement of Workers and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar, who had said the team to free Satinah was not professional.

“He thought we did not know Arabic and that had caused the reduction in the demand for amends to fail,” Maftuh said.

Maftuh confirmed that the members of the task force team, which included the Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, were competent.

“Even the dreams of the ambassador are in Arabic,” he added.

Maftuh also regretted that there was no contribution from the Workers and Transmigration Ministry for Satinah’s case.

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