National

Calls for release ahead
of Wilfrida’s verdict

Save our daughter: Rikhardus Mau (left), the father of Wilfrida, a 17-year-old Indonesian domestic worker who might face a death sentence for allegedly killing her Malaysian employer, and wife Maria Kolo (right) hold a banner saying, “Save Wilfrida from a death sentence” prior to their departure to Malaysia from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, on Saturday. Rikhardus and Maria will attend an interlocutory verdict session in a Malaysian court scheduled to take place on Monday. (Courtesy of Change.org Indonesia)
Save our daughter: Rikhardus Mau (left), the father of Wilfrida, a 17-year-old Indonesian domestic worker who might face a death sentence for allegedly killing her Malaysian employer, and wife Maria Kolo (right) hold a banner saying, “Save Wilfrida from a death sentence” prior to their departure to Malaysia from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, on Saturday. Rikhardus and Maria will attend an interlocutory verdict session in a Malaysian court scheduled to take place on Monday. (Courtesy of Change.org Indonesia)

The parents of a 17-year-old Indonesian migrant worker from Belu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) who might face a death sentence for allegedly killing her Malaysian employer have called for the release of their daughter ahead of a court’s interlocutory verdict on her case. The court is expected to deliver its verdict on Monday.

Rikhardus Mau and Maria Kolo, the parents of Wilfrida, departed for Malaysia to attend the interlocutory verdict session from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, on Saturday.

They were accompanied by Belu Legislative Council deputy speaker Magdalena Tiwu, Rev. Goris from the Atambua Diocese, House of Representatives member Rieke Diah Pitaloka and Usman Hamid, the founder of Change.org Indonesia.

“It really hurts me. I didn’t know Wilfrida went to Malaysia. The only thing I knew was, she stayed with her uncle. I knew that she was in Malaysia only after it was reported that she might face a death sentence. I hope she will be released and returned back to her family,” said Rikhardus.

Magdalena said a string of movements aimed at urging the Malaysian authorities to release Wilfrida had sprouted from mainly the grassroots level. “In Belu, the 1,000 Candles-Action for Wilfrida will start on Saturday evening. Prayer events will also take place simultaneously in churches and mosques in Belu,” she said.

Wahyu Susilo of workers' rights NGO Migrant Care said the government should give immediate legal assistance to migrant workers involved in criminal cases.

“I do still hope that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government can make an optimal advocacy effort for Wilfrida. It’s not only about the life of a poor girl, but it’s also about the nation and humanity,” said Rieke.

Change.org’s director of communications, Arief Aziz, said 11,600 netizens from 66 countries had shown their support for the release of Wilfrida by signing an online petition at www.change.org/savewilfrida. (ebf)

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