The Jakarta Post
A rally planned to be held in front of the Saudi Embassy on Jl. HR Rasuna Said in South Jakarta on Thursday was broken up after the police cornered the protesters on nearby Jl. Karet Raya beside the embassy, saying they had violated procedures.
In the rally organized by the local chapter of the International Women’s Day committee to coincide with the visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud to Indonesia, the activists demanded the Indonesian government and its Saudi counterparts to pay more attention to the protection of Indonesian migrant workers.
“Our rally is a silent action, which aims to remind the Indonesian authorities that they should not only care about Saudi investments in Indonesia and the country’s haj quota, but also pay attention to the Indonesian migrant workers in that country,” said Marjenab, an Indonesian Migrant Worker Family activist who participated in the rally.
The police pushed the protesters and yelled at them in a bid to drive them away from the embassy, right when the protest was about to start. The police detained 13 protesters, including rally coordinator Hariyanto, chairperson of the Indonesian Migrant Worker Association (SBMI), in an armored vehicle. The police finally released them after they agreed to disperse.
A protester called on all Indonesian people to show their solidarity with migrant workers.
“Many female migrant workers are still facing abuses [from their employers]. I call on all people to show their support for them. We are Indonesian citizens. This is about our mothers, our children, our brothers and sisters who deserve protection as Indonesian nationals,” said Nisa Yura, a Solidarity for Women activist. (mrc/ebf)
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