Saudi Arabia beheads Indonesian worker 'forced' into confession

Saudi Arabia beheads Indonesian worker 'forced' into confession
Saudi Arabia has executed a man who was allegedly forced into his confessing to a crime, a rights group has said.
2 min read
19 March, 2018

Saudi authorities on Sunday beheaded an Indonesian migrant worker for murder, despite suspicions that the accused was forced into his confession.

The execution of M. Zaini Misrin followed repeated attempts by Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to prevent the sentence being carried out.

Zaini, a driver, was found guilty of the murder of his Saudi employer in 2008, after being arrested four years earlier.

Migrant Care, an Indonesian NGO dedicated to protecting overseas worker rights, says it suspects that the 53-year-old was forced into his confession of guilt.

The workers' rights organisation says that Zaini had no legal representation during his trial and added that he was accompanied only by a translator.

According to Migrant Care, the translator is believed to have been complicit in the alleged forced confession.

"Saudi Arabia also did not notify Indonesia [about the execution] either through the consulate general in Jeddah or the Foreign Ministry," the Jakarta-based group said in a statement on Monday.

Indonesia's foreign ministry later confirmed that it was not notified about the execution, according to the Jakarta Post.

President Jokowi made requests for clemency in Zaini's case during Saudi monarch King Salman's visit to the Southeast Asian country in 2015 and during two other meetings between the two leaders.

Indonesian representatives also attempted to have the case reviewed, however a reinvestigation carried out between 2011 and 2014 upheld Zaini's conviction.

Saudi Arabia has long been criticised by rights groups for its treatment of migrant workers accused of crimes, with suspects facing detention without charge or trial, no access to legal assistance and allegedly pressure to sign confessions.

Since the beginning of the year, over 30 people of all nationalities have been executed in Saudi Arabia, according to an AFP count.

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