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Saudi Arabia to release 300 Indonesian prisoners JAKARTA - Saudi Arabia pledged to release more than 300 Indonesians jailed in the country for various offenses after an Indonesian minister visited the Arab state to seek clemency for 23 Indonesians on death row, the Jakarta Globe reported.

"The Saudi government will release 316 Indonesians who are serving time in prison," Indonesia's Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar, speaking by video conference from Riyadh, said on Sunday. "But that doesn't include Indonesians who were given the death sentence."

Akbar said his counterpart, Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa, agreed to the release following talks during his state visit. He did not give a time frame for the release, but said the Saudi government would shoulder repatriation costs.

The minister visited Saudi Arabia to seek clemency for 23 Indonesians on death row, as well as commuted sentences for 316 others serving between three and 12 years in Saudi prisons. Most of the 339 inmates went to the country as migrant workers.

The Saudi government had promised to consider releasing some of the inmates on death row, particularly ta'zir, those who had been formally absolved by the victims' family and may even escape the death penalty by paying damages demanded by injured parties. However, qishas, convicts on death row who remain unpardoned by victims' families may still be executed.

"The Saudi government said they would consider [the option of] releasing the ta'zir inmates," Akbar said. "We'll keep trying to get the death sentences for Indonesians here commuted."

Several reports involving harsh abuse against Indonesian labor workers had deteriorated work force relations between the two countries, as international media covered several cases in which abuses led to the death of several workers.

Earlier this year, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said there are at present a total of 3,271,584 Indonesian migrant workers overseas with 4,385 cases of maltreatment including acts of violence and sexual harassment.


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Related blog entries (category 'Politics') Tags: release, prisoners, Saudi, Arab


Posted in Politics @ 17 April 2011 17:56 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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