Could Ruyati Binti Sapubi have been spared from the gallows in Saudi Arabia? The government must now explain to the public yet another failure to protect its citizens abroad. The 54-year-old Ruyati was hanged on Saturday for the 2010 murder of a Saudi woman who employed her as a servant.
BNP2TKI and Migrant Care, an NGO that monitors Indonesian workers abroad, reported in March that Ruyati had been sentenced to death and the case was going through the appeals process.
Her death came as a rude awakening to the nation and left many unanswered questions. Did the trial meet minimum international standards for fairness? Assuming she had confessed to the murder voluntarily and not under coercion, was the murder committed in self-defense? Would that not be an important mitigating factor? What sort of intervention did the Indonesian embassy in Riyadh make between March and the execution? Was the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jakarta kept informed throughout the process? Was her family informed about the imminent execution?