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Jakarta Post

Karawang migrant worker returns home after acquittal in Saudi Arabia

  • Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 5, 2018   /   12:09 pm
Karawang migrant worker returns home after acquittal in Saudi Arabia Nurkoyah Marsan Dasan, an Indonesian migrant worker from Karawang, West Java who escaped the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. (Courtesy of/Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh)

Migrant worker Nurkoyah Marsan Dasa returned home on Wednesday evening after being found not guilty in a murder trial in Saudi Arabia.

Nurkoyah, who was originally from Rengasdengklok in Karawang Regency, West Java, was employed as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia and was arrested for allegedly poisoning her employer’s child on May 9, 2010.

“The child was sick and allegedly poisoned,” said Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the Foreign Ministry’s director for citizen protection abroad. “The employer claimed the sickness was caused by Nurkoyah poisoning the child.”

Three months after Nurkoyah was arrested, Lalu said, the child died and the Saudi prosecutor changed Nurkoyah’s charges from poisoning, to poisoning causing death.

The results of an autopsy performed on the deceased child were used in the Damman City Court by Nurkoyah’s lawyer to prove his client was not guilty of poisoning. Nurkoyah was acquitted on April 3.

After being in detention for eight years, Nurkoyah was released and flew back to Indonesia this week.

“Nurkoyah's return is very special because she was accompanied all the way to her hometown by her lawyer Mish'al Shareef, a well-known lawyer in Saudi Arabia who has been intensively advocating for Indonesian citizens in several legal cases,” said Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel.

Nurkoyah’s family in Kertajaya village had been waiting eagerly for her return on Wednesday.  

"Finally, my sister is home. This is the result of our family’s prayers and efforts," Bean, Nurkoyah’s older sibling, said as quoted by

During her 11 years in Saudi Arabia, Nurkoyah spent three years employed as a domestic worker and the remaining eight years facing legal proceedings following her arrest in 2010. (stu/ipa)


Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article contained an error. Nurkoyah Marsan Dasa was never sentenced to death. The heading of this article has also been corrected.