Archipelago

Migrant worker ‘commits
suicide’ in Dubai

An Indonesian migrant worker from Maros regency, South Sulawesi, reportedly hung herself in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The worker, identified as Darni binti Eli Maknun, 33, was declared dead on Oct. 18, but her family was only informed of her passing on Nov. 8.

Notice of her death was received in a letter from PT Prima Duta Persada, a labor exporting company. The letter was accompanied by an attachment from a hospital in Dubai about the cause of death. According to the letter, she experienced difficulty in breathing due to breathing problems and scratches were found on her neck due to rope winding.

The hospital also mentioned that the woman’s body was clean without any fractures, while her body cavity was also free from any signs that led to her death.

Darwin, the deceased’s husband, said his family did not believe the cause of Darni’s death. “It’s difficult to believe the information we received. She [Darni] is a devout woman, who was a member of Muslim prayer assembly. Moreover, she went to Dubai to work to enable her to send her daughter to school,” he said on Friday.

Her 16-year-old daughter now studies at a vocational school in Maros. Darni dreamed of enabling her daughter to get a good job, to help lift the family out of poverty.

Darwin himself is a seasonal worker without a fixed wage. As a rental car driver, it is difficult for him to support all his family’s needs. The family now lives in a rented house.

Darni left for Dubai the second week of last September, but had not sent any money home.

Darwin hoped that PT Prima Duta Persada and the Indonesian government through the Foreign Ministry and Indonesian Embassy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, would investigate the cause of Darni’s death.

“We suspect that there is something fishy behind her death because during her time in Dubai, Darni used to complain to family and friends. She once said that she was overloaded with work. She said her employer had two wives and nine children, so she was forced to work from 5 a.m. to midnight [local time] every day,” Darwin said.

His suspicions grew stronger when Jumlilah, an employee of PT Prima Duta Persada, gave the letter to him and prevented Darwin from giving the info to the media.

“He threatened that if I spoke to the media, Darni’s body would be sent home without compensation, insurance or mourning money,” he added.

Muhammad Pristiwanto, a director of PT Prima Duta, said he only re-ceived the letter from Dubai on Oct. 19. It was difficult to reach the family, so they received the late notice, he said.

Information regarding Darni’s death, according to Pristiwanto, has been reported to the Foreign Ministry and the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI).

He further said that his company would help arrange the return of Darni’s body to her hometown.

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