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Indonesia investigates detention of 300 citizens in Saudi

April 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm

King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (L) is welcomed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) with an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, Indonesia on 1 March 2017. [Bandar Al-Galoud/Saudi Kingdom Council]

Indonesian authorities are investigating reports that 300 Indonesian workers have been detained in Riyadh suspected of being victims of a transnational human trafficking network, the Jakarta Post reported.

The Indonesian director Protection and Legal Assistance for Indonesians Overseas, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, said the foreign ministry is still working with Saudi police to process the reports.

We received reports two weeks ago that around 300 Indonesian citizens seeking to work in Saudi Arabia had been locked up. Our Indonesian Embassy has coordinated with police authorities there to investigate the matter.

Iqbal explained that most of the 300 Indonesians detained were from West Nusa Tenggara, adding that based on information received by the foreign ministry the 300 people were sent to Saudi Arabia by a recruitment company.

“They had been locked up in a temporary shelter provided by the company for Indonesian migrant workers,” he added.

Reports also revealed that the Indonesian citizens had suffered abuse in the shelter, Iqbal said.

There are several issues that have developed concerning their condition, including information that some of them had been killed and their bodies thrown away. I cannot yet give you the details because the investigation is ongoing.