14 Indonesians on death row seek clemency
Ghazanfar Ali Khan Arab News
RIYADH: The Indonesian government has stepped up efforts to save the lives of 14 of its citizens who are on death row in Saudi Arabia for being convicted of involvement in a range of criminal cases, including murder.
“Our missions in Riyadh and Jeddah will provide legal assistance to these people and help them get a royal pardon or their sentences commuted,” said an Indonesian diplomat while reacting to a recent report on the cases. He refused to divulge more details about the cases.
The report said the Indonesian government had managed to persuade the Saudi side to delay executions, citing appeals for clemency to some of the victims’ families.
“We are intensifying our personal approach to family members of the victims,” said the diplomat. The Indonesian side has already requested the Saudi government to grant royal clemency in some individual cases, but the host government has not responded so far, said another report obtained by Arab News yesterday.
The report added that the Kingdom deported 24,020 Indonesians without valid work permits in 2008. Most of them were employed as housemaids.
Between January and September last year, around 18,000 Indonesians working illegally in the Kingdom were deported. These workers lacked the necessary legal documents and had violated the terms of their visas, according to the Indonesian Embassy.
Most of them entered the Kingdom using Umrah visas but stayed to work, while others had work visas that had expired. The report said more than 20,000 Indonesian workers are deported from Saudi Arabia each year.
Some of 14 workers who are seeking pardon from the Saudi government were found guilty many years ago. Siti Zainab was sentenced to death several years ago for killing her employer. The Indonesian Embassy has repeatedly approached her victim’s family to secure a pardon for her. “The Indonesian president has written to the Saudi government twice about her case,” said the report.
The report claimed that some of these workers committed murders while acting in self-defense.
Others have been handed death sentences for killing compatriots.
Last year, the Indonesian Embassy succeeded in postponing the execution of six workers.
Key suspects in kidnap case face death sentenceMuhammad Abdullah Arab News
MADINAH: The key suspects in the kidnapping of an Afghan girl in Madinah four years ago may face capital punishment as the act has been treated as a major socially corrupting crime deserving execution in accordance with Shariah.
“The case filed against Muhammad Junaidi and his sister Jamalat, prime suspects in the kidnapping and imprisonment of Raziah, has been transferred to the headquarters of the Commission for Investigation and Prosecution in Riyadh in view of the seriousness of the case,” said a reliable source in Madinah legal circles.
“Given the strong evidences gathered by the prosecution and the nature of the crime the final verdict is likely to be execution,” said the source, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Junaidi, an Egyptian, his wife Fatimah and his sister Jamalat were arrested in January in connection with the kidnapping of Raziah who was kept prisoner in their home for four years.
“Abduction and rape are crimes not condoned by the religion because they amount to terrorizing people and disrupting law and order,” said Faihan Al-Mutairi, who teaches law at the Islamic University of Madinah, commenting on the crime.
According to the girl, Jamalat lured her to Junaidi’s house where she was kept prisoner. Raziah said Junaidi wanted to marry her and smuggle her to Egypt. “They changed my name to Duaa and told me that Junaidi would marry me,” Raziah told Arab News after police reunited her with her parents in January.
According to Raziah’s mother, who sold clothes outside the Prophet’s Mosque, Jamalat purportedly took the girl to her hotel room promising to send with her the money for clothes she had bought as she had no cash on her, but Raziah never came back.
Jamalat has been charged with kidnapping and detaining the girl, while Fatimah has been charged with concealing her husband and sister-in-law’s crimes.
Junaidi is currently being held at Abyar Ali General Prison in Madinah. The couple’s four children are currently at the Taiba Children’s Village; a fifth child is with Fatimah in jail.