Indonesia

Two Indonesians freed from death sentence in Saudi

The two Indonesians were arrested by Saudi police on December 27, 2014.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Government of Indonesia has secured the release of two Indonesian citizens from death sentence in Saudi Arabia. The Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh noted in a statement on Monday that the two Indonesians -- Sumiyati binti Muhammad Amin and Masani binti Syamsuddin Umar -- were freed from death sentence after the courts of appeals revoked the qisas, or retributive justice under Islamic law, for the two accused.

Sumiyati and Masani, both from Sumbawa located in Indonesia's West Nusa Tenggara Province, were arrested by the Saudi police on December 27, 2014, for alleged practicing the witchcraft of sorcery that caused their employer's child to fall permanently ill. The two were also accused for the murder of the employer's mother by injecting substances mixed with insulin into the body of the diabetic woman.

The Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh had since then provided intensive legal assistance to Sumiyati and Masani.

On February 20, 2016, the city court of Dawadmi sentenced Sumiyati to 1.5 years in prison and a one-year jail term to Masani after the two had pleaded guilty in the witchcraft case.

In front of the judge on August 10 2017, Sinhaj al Otaibi, the victim's heir, waived the rights to qisas, demanding no compensation to the Indonesians. Thus, the court ordered to revoke the punishment against the accused.

Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Maftuh Abegebriel revealed that under the Islamic law, the qisas should be done under a consensus of the victim's heirs, and there should be no dissenting opinion from them. Once an heir waives the rights to qisas, the charge is no longer applicable.

During an iftar event at the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, on Friday (June 1), Sumiyati and Masani expressed gratitude and praised the government's efforts and assistance in their case.

The Indonesian Embassy will assist in the repatriation of Sumiyati and Masani.

Director of Indonesian Citizens Protection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lalu Muhammad Iqbal stated that Sumiyati and Masani were expected to arrive in their home country on June 7 and will be handed over to their families in Sumbawa.

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